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The art critic Raquel Tibol’s review includes statements made by the team working at the Museo Nacional de Antropología [National Anthropological Museum]: Jorge Angulo, Ike Larrauri, and Mario Vázquez. When asked to describe the work with which they were engaged, the team members referred the reviewer to their “Masters”: Fernando Gamboa, Miguel Covarrubias and Daniel Rubín de la Borbolla. The old building is being remodeled for the first time since 1947. Similar work was done—also by the “Masters”—at the time the Museo Nacional de Artes Plásticas (MNAP) [National Museum of Visual Arts] was being installed at the Palacio de Bellas Artes de México [Mexican Palace of Fine Arts].


This is a biographical sketch of Fernando Gamboa (1908-1990) and his colleagues. Drawing on the recollections of his students, the Mexico-based, Argentine journalist Raquel Tibol (1923-2008) provides a profile of the museologist. In particular, she notes that Gamboa was not only instrumental in founding the MNAP [National Museum of Visual Arts], but was also involved in the establishment of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), where he was the deputy director. In those early days, as Mario Vázquez notes both, Gamboa and Julio Castellanos, had already set their sights on “an excellent goal, which was to create a synthesis of Mexican art.” 

That “synthesis” became the official visual discourse that the government adopted to represent Mexico. Gamboa’s selections relied on particular museographical techniques to frame his curatorial projects. The Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia [National Anthropological and History Museum], which opened in 1964, is now housed at Chapultepec Woods, in a building expressly constructed for that purpose.

Diana Briuolo
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico

Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional