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.
This author describes the mural commission for the functionalist education center in Mexico City, with images accompanying his review. He emphasizes the collective nature of the works as well as the paintings’ subjects. The author applauds the fulfillment of the educational initiative devised by all the painters, without making distinctions between them. The subject matter of the works had such unity that “different hands or any hesitancy cannot be discerned in the composition. . . they produced the works as if there were only one artist.”
The Alianza de los Trabajadores de las Artes Plásticas (ATAP) [Alliance of Visual Arts Workers] was an organization formed at the end of 1933, headed at the time by Carlos Chávez at the request of the Departamento de Bellas Artes, subsidiary of the SEP (Ministry of Public Education). The group was comprised of five painters: Jesús Guerrero Galván, Máximo Pacheco, Jesús Manuel Anaya, Raúl Anguiano, and Roberto Reyes Pérez. This last artist, in some ways, assumed the role of representative and leader of the group. Openly supported by Diego Rivera, the ATAP alliance felt indebted to the 1923 statutes of the SOTPE [Union of Workers, Technicians, Painters and Sculptors]. The basic idea of their work was to paint murals of an anti-religious nature for another functionalist school located in the Portales zone, called “Plutarco Elías Calles.” As the painters explained, the works they painted at the beginning of 1934 were immediately damaged by men upon seeing unflattering representations of animal-like priests, packs of children pointing rifles at a group of priests, and the direct attack that children mounted against a group of devout women. Unfortunately the murals were destroyed, as Máximo Pacheco (1907–1992) and Raúl Anguiano (1915–2006) confirm in their memoirs.