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In the prologue to the catalogue of the 1935 exhibition of contemporary Mexican art, Mexican artist Jorge Juan Crespo de la Serna provides a brief overview of Mexican art from the time of the Mayans until the present. He asserts that Mexican art, like the rest of the art from the continent, partakes of a “restless, incorruptible and aggressive spirit that encompasses a wide range of visions and constitutes authentic Americanism.” In his view, Mexicans have developed a serious artistic movement aimed at the creation of an original and independent school. The essay includes a list of the works exhibited and the artists who made them, along with a brief commentary on each one’s artistic development. The show included sixty-seven works by the following artists: Julio Castellanos, Jean Charlot, Agustín Velásquez Chánez, Miguel Covarrubias, María Izquierdo, Timiji Kitagawa, Manuel Rodríguez Lozano, Leopoldo Méndez, Carlos Mérida, Paul O’Higgins, Jorge Olvera, José Clemente Orozco, Máximo Pacheco, Feliciano Peña, Fermín Revueltas, Diego Rivera, Carlos Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo. It also included thirteen sculptures by Germán Cueto, Mardoneo Magana, Guillermo Ruiz, R. Archundía, Fernando Flores, and Jorge Martínez.


This exhibition of contemporary art from Mexico was held at the hall of the Universidad de Puerto Rico in January and February, 1935. Edited by Muna Lee de Muñoz Marín, this issue of the newsletter, Art in Review, discusses the exhibitions organized and the works acquired by Walter Dehner (New York, 1898–California, 1955), the director of art at the Universidad de Puerto Rico at that time. This issue, which was published in 1937, offers an early view of the artistic and cultural scene in Puerto Rico. These mostly little-known documents also illustrate the importance of the Universidad de Puerto Rico as the primary venue for the first exhibitions held on the island. Documents related to this topic include the title page of this issue of Art in Review (doc. No. 823185); “Other Gifts to the Art Collection of the University of Puerto Rico” (doc. No. 824943), and “Arte mágico” [Magical Art] (doc. No. 823335).

Flavia Marichal Lugo
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Colección Puertorriqueña, Biblioteca José M. Lázaro