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Carlos Chávez announces the opening of the Mexican art exhibition organized by the governments of Mexico and France, in which a very carefully selected collection of masterpieces would be presented, beginning with the pre-Cortés era and continuing to modern times. The principal objective of the show was to represent the spirit of the Mexican people and their values through art. At the same time, the international exhibition would serve to deepen relations with the French people. Chávez believed that the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA) was fulfilling its mission to disseminate Mexican art in other nations because of the invitation it had received from the Venice Biennale; it resulted in a surge of interest to know all eras of Mexican art in greater depth.


The Mexican government appointed Fernando Gamboa (1908–1990) to organize the great international event. The exhibition was divided into four parts: ancient art, colonial art, folk art, and 19th- and 20th-century art to be shown between May and July 1952 at Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris. This organization arose from President Miguel Alemán’s (1946–52) desire to present Mexico as a developing nation that, at the same time, was also a great civilization. As official curator, Gamboa articulated a curatorial discourse that built a “national unity,” presenting to the modern world an image of Mexican history on a path of greatness and prestige. 

Ana María Torres : CEPE, U.N.A.M. / CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico

Promotora Cultural Fernando Gamboa