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 piece, the Federación de Estudiantes [Student Federation] declares the muralists’ paintings to be “bad caricatures.” The federation expressed outrage by an offensive statement issued by a group of painters led by Diego Rivera. The federation issued its emphatic response to the acts that constituted boorish attacks against honor, dignity, and education. Perhaps the college students and professors did not appreciate the new style of paintings at the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria (ENP) because they could not understand the exalted emotions such paintings inspire. If so, then they were indeed the right people to remove the paintings from their walls.
The unsigned articles found in Mexico City’s daily newspapers preclude identifying the author of this article, though we can certainly discern a conservative attitude among a society that viewed the murals at the ENP as “bad caricatures.” In a demagogical way, they wished to be democratic by agreeing with the students’ demand that the building should be furnished with paintings that reflected students’ tastes. All of this occurred in 1924, a difficult year for Mexican politics, given that the presidency of General Álvaro Obregón (1920–24) was coming to an end, and the muralists had distanced themselves from the early ideas of José Vasconcelos. The protest against the murals is the visible side of the internal conflict between conservatives and the avant-garde.