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This article discusses the preparations for the first exhibition of “women’s” posters—an unprecedented event. The women artists involved were María Izquierdo, Dolores Álvarez Bravo, Cordelia Urueta, and the Peruvian Julia Codesido. The article defines the function of the poster and says that: “. . . all the visual art values and informative power of the poster come alive in the hands of these women painters, without causing them to lose sight of their own feminine expression for one second.” These posters are designed to convey an “objective education” to the “masses.” These women are thus putting their artistic production “at the service of social art.” 


This article highlights the artistic activities of the women at the Departamento de Bellas Artes [Fine Arts Department] of the Secretaría de Educación Pública [SEP, Ministry of Public Education], the institution that commissioned and sponsored the creation of posters with social and educational messages. The exhibition traveled to Guadalajara, where a collection of revolutionary posters was also presented. It should be noted that the article highlights the women’s production; in other words, it was thought that these female artists were being given a chance to express themselves on an even playing field in cultural spaces. The female artists’ social commitment is the thread that runs through the article. During the 1940s this alleged plurality and openness was negated by a mood of narrow-mindedness when María Izquierdo (1902-55) was prohibited from painting public murals. This happened at the Government Palace in Jalapa (Veracruz) and at government headquarters in Mexico City. The woman from Jalisco’s fierce critics claimed that mural painting was a “man’s job” and was therefore a “virile” activity.    

Dafne Cruz Porchini : CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico

Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional