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.
“Máscara” [Mask] was a profile of Germán Gedovius, the famous artist from San Luis Potosí. Here, José Juan Tablada discusses the artist’s career, and his trials and tribulations, for a variety of reasons. First of all, to present a moving description of the artist, who has been savaged by an Academy that is governed by the dark forces of “dense, glutinous ignorance,” and has been victimized by envy, revenge, and the devastating fallout from an environment riddled with hostility toward art. Secondly, to draw attention to the gentle nature of this artist who has “seraphically” turned the other cheek against the cruel lash of gossip and slander, ignoring anything and everything except untainted expressions of ecstatic love. And thirdly, to acknowledge the artist’s ultimate success and, in particular, to note his involvement in the reorganization of the old Academia de San Carlos, a project headed by Justo Sierra and supported by the architect Antonio Rivas Mercado, the teacher Antonio Fabrés, and the artist Julio Ruelas, all of whom were close to Tablada, who was perhaps the main intellectual force behind that reorganization.
In addition to being a favorable critical review of the work of Germán Gedovius (1866-1937)—which clearly reflected the teaching method advocated by the painter from Cataluña, Spain, Antonio María Fabrés y Costa (1854-1936)—this interesting article also documents changing attitudes toward teaching at the old Academia de San Carlos, and provides a perspective on the rupture that was threatening the visual arts at that time. The article offers many insights into the intrigues and the inner workings of the cultural policies of the Porfirio Díaz regime, and describes the relationship between José Juan Tablada (1871-1945) and the teacher and educator Justo Sierra (1848-1912), who was the uncle of Evangelina Sierra, Tablada’s wife.