Becoming Modern, Becoming Tradition: Women, Gender, and Representation in Mexican Art

Becoming Modern, Becoming Tradition: Women, Gender, and Representation in Mexican Art

by Adriana Zavala

Paperback(New Edition)



Becoming Modern, Becoming Tradition examines the relationships among women, nationalism, racial identity, and modernity before, during, and after the Mexican Revolution. In this innovative study, Adriana Zavala demonstrates that the image of Mexican womanhood, whether stereotyped as Indian, urban, modern, sexually “degenerate,” or otherwise, was symbolically charged in complex ways both before and after the so-called postrevolutionary cultural renaissance, and that crucial aspects of postrevolutionary culture remained rooted in nineteenth-century conceptions of woman as the bearer of cultural and social tradition. Focusing on images of women in a variety of contexts—including works by such artists as Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, María Izquierdo, and Frida Kahlo, as well as films, pornographic photos, and beauty pageant advertisements—this book explores the complex and often fraught role played by visual culture in the social and political debates that raged over the concept of womanhood and the transformation of Mexican identity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780271035246
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication date: 06/02/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.13(d)

About the Author

Adriana Zavala is Associate Professor of Art History at Tufts University.

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations



1. The Eternal Feminine: Self-Sacrifice, Modesty, and Discretion

2. Fin de Siglo: Modernity and the Culture of Decadence

3. Pupilas and Mestizas

4. Santa, La India Bonita, and Mexican Maternity

5. Desnudas, Amazonas, and Tehuanas

6. Double Portraits: “Sons (and Daughters) of La Malinche





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