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Surveys, Canons, and Contemporary Art: A New Look at 500 Years of Mexican Art and Architecture

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Beck Building, Mezzanine
5601 Main Street Map & Directions

Presented by James Oles, senior lecturer, art department, and adjunct curator of Latin American art, Davis Museum, Wellesley College

In conjunction with his new book, Art and Architecture in Mexico, author James Oles provides insight into the process behind writing the first comprehensive survey of Mexican art in almost a half century. His talk explores how surveys were previously crafted by art historians and museum curators, as well as the benefits and pitfalls of taking a long, rather than tightly focused, view of Mexican art history. Instead of emphasizing continuity over time, the book highlights cross-generational connections, and much of the talk focuses on the historical context—direct and indirect—that informs the work of Mexico's vibrant contemporary artists, including Francis Alÿs, Teresa Margolles, and Melanie Smith, whose work is represented in the MFAH collections. A selection of Mexican art from the MFAH collection is on view in the exhibition Calaveras Mexicanas: The Art and Influence of José Guadalupe Posada.

A book signing follows the lecture. Questions? E-mail

Your ticket is free with general admission. Secure your seat in advance! Click the "Get Tickets" button and use your own printer; call 713.639.7771; or visit any MFAH admissions desk.

Education programs receive generous funding from the Kinder Foundation; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; ExxonMobil; the Favrot Fund; Michael C. Linn in memory of his mother Patricia G. Linn; the National Museum of Korea; Mrs. Evelyn Houstoun Chew; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Susanne M. and Melbern G. Glasscock; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; The Americana Foundation; The Boeing Company; An Anonymous Donor; Mr. William J. Hill; Cameron International Corporation; Houston Junior Woman’s Club; the Sterling-Turner Foundation; and The Susan Vaughan Foundation.

Special thanks to Adept Word Management for transcription services.