display | more...
Vasconcelos was something of a father to the Mexican Mural Movement of the early 1900s. He was named head of the Mexican Ministry of Education under the administration of General Alvaro Obregon in 1921. In this position, Vasconcelos became the first to begin employing the likes of Siqueiros, Orozco and Rivera to paint public murals on the walls of the schools he was in charge of. On numerous occasions, he camouflaged the work of the muralists he was employing in order to shield the program from a barrage of public criticism, giving them official titles as teachers or as inspectors of drawing in the Ministry. During the time that he was in office, the murals completed for the government tended to reflect Vasconcelos' own political beliefs of moderate idealism, shifting into more radical directions only after his departure in 1924.

Vasconcelos went on to publish a book entitled La Raza Cosmica (The Cosmic Race) in 1925, where he began to discuss a growing philosophy regarding Mexicans of mixed heritage, called mestizos. The mestizo, he argued, was destined to become the fifth great race of humanity. As a synthesis of pre-Columbian and European ancestries, the mestizo would come to embody all of the best characteristics of the races that came before it, taking up a dominant place in the scheme of the world. Theories such as this paved the way for others that placed mestizos at the head of the political consciousness of the country.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.