The Americas: Collecting Mexico

By Luis M. Casteneda
The Americas

garrigan_collecting coverShelley Garrigan's work is an important contribution to the study of official culture during the rule of Porfirio Diaz in Mexico (1876-1910), primarily because it casts new light on episodes, objects, and events that historians of Mexico tend to think they know quite well. The book's five chapters examine the construction of a national canon of painting; the creation of a "national" discipline of archaeology, which culminated in the renewed importance afforded to Mexico's National Museum; the production of urban monuments to commemorate national events and heroes in the Mexican capital; the exhibition of Mexican artifacts for international consumption at the 1889 Paris World's Fair; and the gathering and display of statistical information used to rationalize, order, and govern Mexico's territory and resources.

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