The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this article for the magazine Vanity Fair, Marie Brenner writes a biographical sketch of her aunt, Anita Brenner, about the relationship that is established with Mexican art and culture, particularly during the 1920s. During that decade, Anita Brenner lived in Mexico City, side by side with the protagonists of the muralist movement and other personalities connected to the so-called Mexican Artistic Renaissance, among them some foreign visitors. Within that context, the author mentions throughout the article the role of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, as well as that of the photographers Tina Modotti and Edward Weston. The author reproduces several of the romantic notions concerning that contact, episodes that to a certain extent were revealed by her aunt herself in books such as Idols Behind Altars (1929), as well as numerous articles published in periodicals and magazines in the United States, during the decades of the 1920s and 1930s.
Marie, the author of the article, is the niece of Anita Brenner (1905-1974). In her article she calls attention to the so-called Mexican Artistic Renaissance. By so doing, she maintains a vision similar to Anita’s, although the text was written over seven decades after her aunt’s famous writings. It is a vision, not only quite popular during the post-revolutionary period, but also maintained during recent years.
The article is relevant due to, among other aspects, the “primitivist” interpretation of that post-revolutionary episode which, in a way, allows us to reconcile the authenticity of Mexican traditions on the one hand, and the aspirations for liberation and freedom of expression in modern societies—as is the case of United States society—on the other.