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Becoming Mexico

The Photographs of Manuel Carrillo

On View:
Saturday, July 8, 2017 — Sunday, September 17, 2017


In 1955, Manuel Carrillo (1906-1989) began photographing and documenting indigenous Mexico. His street photography of campesinos, indios, mestizo men, women and children chronicled Mexico's essential character and recorded everyday life. Carrillo embraced the ideas of Mexicanidad, a cultural movement that emerged in the 1920s after Mexico's Revolution, which comprised influential writers, photographers, and artists.

Its overriding ambition was to substantiate a national identity by purging colonial and any other foreign influence from contemporary art. Carrillo's photographs serve as a celebration of the human spirit and as a record of local rituals and practices. He photographed a period when peasants still wore traditional dress, men wore  huarache sandals, and women were never seen without their  rebozo shawl. Carrillo's subjects are proud and strong, happy and optimistic. His photographs also captured the disconsolation and despair endemic to these impoverished, rural communities.

Image Caption: Manuel Carrillo,  Santa Rosa, Gaunajuatogelatin silver print, 8 x 10 inches, Gift of Alvin J. Gilbert, MET 79.2.3

Film Series Schedule

Tuesday: Flor Silvestre

Wednesday: Las Abandonadas

Thursday: Bugambilia

Friday: Pueblerina

Saturday & Sunday: La Perla