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 issue contains more than 400 engravings by José Guadalupe Posada, with a preface by Diego Rivera, in which he redefines the engraver as a “worker,” “warrior of leaflets,” the “greatest artist” produced by the people, and the precursor of the national art movement. Rivera undertakes an aesthetic analysis of Posada. After characterizing him as a classic, Rivera hopes that his name would again fall into anonymity once it has nourished the emergent art of the revolution. The muralist places emphasis on the satirical “Calaveras” [skeleton characters] created by Posada.
This publication, which was ambitious for its time, emerged from a collaboration between Frances Toor (1890-1952), one of the cultural journalists that most contributed to the post-revolutionary phenomenon known as the “Mexican Renaissance,” and Paul O’Higgins—an American muralist who assisted Diego Rivera and Blas Vanegas Arroyo, the son of José Guadalupe Posada’s publisher. The introductory text on the engraver, who straddled the 19th and 20th centuries, was commissioned by the renowned artist, Diego Rivera (1886-1957). When the muralist established the link between Posada with the social Mexican movement, he not only defined a model for artists, but also the paradigm of the proletarian activist: one who transcended historiographical visions and shaped the behavior of future artist organizations. Based on O’Higgins’ recovery and restoration of Posada’s original engraving plates, Toor edited the first monograph of the graphic artist with the official support of the Talleres Gráficos de la Nación [National Graphic Workshops]. This was an exceptional occurrence given that the most renowned artists rarely enjoyed this type of publication.