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In his article, Dr. Atl, does a broad study and recognition of the art movement in progress. Historically speaking, he says that there have been three ways to create art; one, which is that of folk art that has always been created; another is the commercial factor; and finally, the support of a prince, a pharaoh or a government. What is going on in Mexico can be attributed both to the people and the support of José Vasconcelos as Minister of Public Education. This is not only reflected in the field of painting but also in the construction of schools, teacher training colleges, and universities. He states that this administration has built more classrooms than in the periods of Porfirio Díaz, Francisco I. Madero, and Venustiano Carranza combined. Regarding the visual arts movement, Dr. Atl writes that it has been picking up intensity since 1920. This can be seen in the Escuela de Pintura al Aire Libre [Open-Air Painting School] in Coyoacán and La Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes through the strong presence of Alva de la Canal, Siqueiros, Charlot, Montenegro, and Rivera, that is, those who have had wholehearted official support.


The writings of Gerardo Murillo (a.k.a. Dr. Atl, 1875–1964) are differentiated from the writings of other critics by his knowledge of the development of the arts not just in Mexico, but also in the Western world. He elaborates on the ways in which art has been produced, starting by pointing out the work of artisans, who have created artworks for generations. Next, he brings up commercial trade, and, finally, “the patron,” which in post-revolutionary times, was the Mexican State, as seen in the person of José Vasconcelos (1882–1959). Dr. Atl says that he has visited all the educational architectural works supported by the Minister of Public Education and is surprised by the quantity and quality of the works. However, he emphasizes that the patronage of the Ministry has been granted to Diego Rivera (1886–1957), David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974), Ramón Alva de la Canal (1892–1985), Jean Charlot (1897–1979), and Roberto Montenegro (1885–1968). As of that date in 1923, Dr. Atl forgets Fermín Revueltas (1901–1934), Fernando Leal (1896-1964), and José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949), who also painted murals at the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria.

Esther Acevedo : Dirección de Estudios Históricos, INAH / CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico

Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional