1. The phrase “art on the Left” encapsulates the broad
range of radical art practices during the first half of the
twentieth century, from the John Reed clubs of the
1920s through the Popular Front. See Denning, The
Cultural Front, and Hemingway, Artists on the Left.
2. Siqueiros, Rivera, Guerrero, Revueltas, Orozco,
Guadarrama, Cueto, and Mérida, “Manifesto of the
Union of Mexican Workers, Technicians, Painters and
3. Brenner, Idols behind Altars; Charlot, The Mexican
Mural Renaissance; Hurlburt, The Mexican Muralists in
the United States; Rochfort, Mexican Muralists; Tibol,
Arte y politica and David Alfaro Siqueiros; and Wolfe,
Diego Rivera and The Fabulous Life of Diego Rivera.
4. See, for example, Bennett, The Birth of the Museum;
Duncan, Civilizing Rituals; Duncan and Wallach, “The
Museum of Modern Art as Late Capitalist Ritual” and
“The Universal Survey Museum”; Karp and Lavine, Ex-
hibiting Cultures; Karp, Mullen Kreamer, and Lavine,
Museums and Communities; Levine, Highbrow/Low-
brow; McClellan, Inventing the Louvre; and Wallach,
Exhibiting Contradiction.
5. See, for example, Handler and Gable, The New His-
tory in an Old Museum; Karp, Kratz, Szwaja, and Ybarra-
Frausto, Museum Frictions; Kirshenblatt- Gimblett, Des-
tination Culture; and McClellan, Art and Its Publics.
6. Harris, “Polling for Opinion.”
7. Kantor, Alfred H. Barr, Jr. and the Intellectual Ori-
gins of the Museum of Modern Art, and Staniszewski, The
Power of Display.
8. Hankins, “Baubles, Blue Walls, and Bakelite.”
9. Duncan, “Museums and Department Stores.”
10. See Altshuler, The Avant- Garde in Exhibition.
11. The term “contact zone” derives from James Clif-
ford’s salutory work, The Predicament of Culture.
12. Paz, “Re/Visions,” 115.
13. Ibid., 133.
14. Goldman, Contemporary Mexican Painting in a
Time of Change, 27.
15. As Mark Alan Healey, the translator of Bartra’s
essay, points out, Bartra’s use of the term “office” in
his title and embedded in his term “official culture” is
ironic and relies on a host of meanings derived from
religious practice—the Divine Office—that are not
commonplace within American- English usage. He
writes, “Bartra’s notion of the Mexican office refers
to . . . the sacralized ritual practice of cultural arbiters
within the Mexican state—‘official culture’—setting
out the canonical forms and norms of Mexicanness.”
See note 1 in Bartra, “The Mexican Office,” 3.
16. Ibid., 4.
17. Ibid., 5.
18. Ibid.
19. Ibid. 6.
20. Ibid.
21. Ibid.
22. Ibid. 9–10.
23. Cuevas, “The Cactus Curtain,” 116.
24. Ibid., 115.
25. Ibid., 118.
26. Ibid., 114.
27. Ibid., 118.
28. Ibid., 119.
29. Ibid., 113.
30. Ibid.
31. Bartra, “The Mexican Office,” 9.
32. Ibid., 6.
33. Vasconcelos, The Cosmic Race, 31.
34. Ibid., 40.
35. Vasconcelos, “The Race Problem in Latin
America,” 92.
36. Ibid., 100.
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