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 this article, Rafael Heliodoro Valle informs us about some of the photographers working from the nineteenth century through the first half of the twentieth century. The article refers to descriptions of photographs taken by Madame Calderón de la Barca, and then takes us through the photographs of Cruces and Campa, Valleto, J. M. Lupercio and the photographer Hugo Brehme. Valle also includes the great amateur Antonio Cortés, whose photographs extended throughout most of colonial Mexico. Finally, he ends his list with the U.S. photographer, Edward Weston, whom he acknowledges as the driving force behind a revolution in photography as a genre.
The interest in this article is that it was among the first to provide a historical review of photography in Mexico in a daily newspaper. During those years, there were several exhibitions that covered portions of that visual history. This story—from the pen of the distinguished Honduran writer living in Mexico, Rafael Heliodoro Valle (1891-1959)—was one of the most important. What is unique here is the writer’s vision, which led him to emphasize photography as an art form. Some of the final sentences of the article also reveal the problem the writer was having defining photography. Should it be included among the fine arts, or should we consider it in terms of its own aesthetic discourse, different from the old, familiar approaches? From the perspective of one of those familiar approaches, photography was considered part of the illustrated avant-garde.