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.
This essay by artist, scholar, and cultural critic Amalia Mesa-Bains explores the personal, cultural, and social histories that have influenced Chicana artist, Ester Hernández. The author begins with an analysis of one of Hernández’s most famous images, Sun Mad (1981), and goes on to discuss critical themes of Hernández’s body of work, including memory, family, poverty, feminism, and Chicano cultural heritage. Mesa-Bains addresses Hernandez’ numerous artistic influences such as her association with the Mujeres Muralistas. The author identifies a desire for social change and cultural pride as the driving force behind Hernandez’s art. The article ends with a brief biography of the artist, detailing events of her childhood, her family’s social involvement, her education, and her professional career.
Amalia Mesa-Bains is an artist and cultural critic, who wrote extensively on Chicano/Latino art.This essay was prepared for the “Artist Monograph Series” published by San Francisco’s Galeria de la Raza. Envisioned as a stand-alone piece—even though at many times it was published in conjunction with an exhibition—the series sought to fill the gap in scholarly writing on Chicano/a artists and their production. Mesa-Bains’ monograph on Ester Hernandez was the first to situate her prints within the context of Chicano/a activist art, especially in relation to the struggle of farm workers and representation of Chicanas.