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.
As coordinator of the art integration project Centro Médico Nacional [National Medical Center], Fernando Gamboa left evidence of his aesthetic ideas relating to the history of medicine and public health. In his notes, the curator held forth on the importance of health, illness, and the role of doctors and hospitals. Through his readings on the subject, he identified both health care institutions and public health laws. One issue that concerned him was child malnutrition and the way Mexican Social Services would have to solve this problem. Gamboa took this and other public health matters into account, knowing that the pictorial representations in the murals that would decorate the Centro Médico Nacional would in large part be determined by his own interpretation.
The concept of Proyecto Hospitales [Hospital Construction Project] was based on architectural innovations—the way of imagining the new “hospital/institution” and what this meant to the field of national public health. The construction of these hospitals included an interesting and striking plan for decorating the buildings. The architects and visual artists of the period called it integración plástica [visual arts integration] because it combined architectural design—interior and/or exterior spaces—with pictorial and/or sculptural decoration. Its promoters, headed by the curator Fernando Gamboa (1908-1990), sought to reinforce the image of “Mexicanness” through representations of the pre-Hispanic past, which assumed an important place in the hospital’s decorative scheme.