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.
Sponsored by the government of the state of Jalisco, José Clemente Orozco worked on a series of frescoes for several public buildings in Guadalajara. Orozco was considered to have reached the full maturity of his creative talent, and these works were expected to enshrine him—in the words of the critics—as the “greatest exponent of modern pictorial art in Mexico.” Thanks to Orozco’s new murals, the capital city of the state of Jalisco was expected to attract more tourist traffic, as happened in Cuernavaca (in the state of Morelos) as a result of Diego Rivera’s murals.
It seems paradoxical that while José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949) was lauded for the high technical quality of these murals, his work was reduced to serving as a mere tourist attraction or a projection of a jingoistic image of Mexico to the outside world. However, this appraisal underscores an important point: the role of Mexican art as an “ambassador of goodwill” to the United States. This dynamic also explains why the government of Orozco’s native state sponsored him. The goal was to make it abundantly clear that art was supported at all levels and in all regions of the country—not just in the center—as a validation mechanism that could define the revolutionary origins of each of the local governments.