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.
In a letter to Jorge Enciso, addressed to the Dirección de Monumentos Nacionales [National Monuments Administration], Siqueiros announces that Javier Rojo Gómez has commissioned him to paint murals in the tower of what was known as the former Customs Building. He recognizes that the Mexican government is no longer sponsoring mural painting in facilities, even though that was what made Mexican art famous. In accepting the commission, Siqueiros admits to being fully aware of what it means to respect colonial buildings while one is working on them, indicating that only one window opening has been sealed off and what was left of the coat of arms has been removed. He claims that the coat of arms had been damaged during an earlier restoration project, and all that remained was the cross. He explains that he will use modern materials to work on this enormous cubic space.
David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974) recognizes the emergence of a second phase of mural painting, though not at a conscious level. Mural painting’s roots can be traced back to the post-revolutionary movement that sought to unify the country, when symbolic expression played a crucial role. By 1944, the parameters had changed and murals were only being painted on walls in colonial buildings because of the success enjoyed by the muralist movement of the 1920s and 1930s. Now, in the 1940s, a consolidated form of mural painting would seem to be in order. In fact, Siqueiros devotes more of the letter to criticizing restorations that did away with colonial buildings than to the subject matter or nature of his mural.