José Clement Orozco (1883 – 1949)

“Dia De Los Muertos” by José Clement Orozco

The NYTimes.com published an article this weekend in the art section about a new exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art that explores “the profound impact” of Mexican painters on American culture.

“Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925 – 1945” features artists Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and one of particular interest to me, José Clement Orozco. According to the Times, Orozco came to New York in 1927, teaching easel painting and print making before moving to California for a 1930 commission at Pomona College in Claremont.

Sometime after then, my great grandmother Madeline Thomas Langworthy acquired an Orozco artwork, titled “Dia De Los Muertos” or “Day of The Dead.” According to a tag on the back, Madeline lent this signed lithograph to the San Francisco Museum of Art in December 1953, as part of a José Clemente Orozco Memorial exhibition.

the impact of these painters and muralists also appear in the footnotes of an earlier post, in which I discovered a WPA-era artwork painted around the time of these Mexican influencers by the other ancestral female artist on my Mom’s side of the family.

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