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Alfredo Ramos Martínez, director of the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes [National School of Fine Arts], discusses the new trend at the Escuela al Aire Libre [Open-Air School] in Coyoacán and the free workshops at the Academia. With freedom to search for the truth, art students will create a national art based on their observation of the Mexican landscape. He admits that art is universal, that it has no single homeland; he does, however, mention an Italian, a French, and an English school. Ramos Martínez is optimistic because he thinks Mexico is a great country and its people are gifted artists. Art classes have been organized in such a way that architects can also paint from nature, which has proved highly beneficial to those who have been on excursions to Querétaro, Morelia, and Celaya. Students at the school in Coyoacán commune intimately with nature and live a simple but genuine life.


The optimism expressed by Alfredo Ramos Martínez (1871-1946) when speaking of the Open-Air Schools is a reflection of the new spirit that was inspiring Academia painters at the time. But that was in 1921, when Diego Rivera (1886-1957) was painting the murals at the ENP’s Bolívar Auditorium and was not yet talking about the movement enticed by José Vasconcelos (1882-1959) via the walls of San Pedro y San Pablo church. The director of the Academia—which was just a few blocks from the ENP building—tried to ignore the pressure from Vasconcelos to create a didactic form of mural painting. 

Esther Acevedo : Dirección de Estudios Históricos, INAH / CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Courtesy of Alfredo Ramos Martinez Research Project, West Hollywood, CA
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional