Mexican murals and the New Deal

by Jo Giles, UNMC public relations | December 04, 2012

Today, Magdalena Garcia, founder, executive director and curator of the El Museo Latino, will speak at UNMC about her museum's current exhibit. The exhibit features Mexican murals that spawned from a New Deal-era program known as the Works Progress Administration.

Garcia's lecture -- held as part of Spirit Week -- starts at 11:30 a.m. in the Durham Research Center Auditorium. Free lunch will be provided for the first 50 in attendance and employees will have the opportunity to win door prizes, including a pair of free tickets to the exhibit.

About the WPA

The WPA was based on a Mexican government-sponsored mural program and helped put thousands of artists back to work. Mexican muralists were influential in the United States, especially among young, socially minded artists, many who later participated in the WPA.

"The exhibit presents an opportunity to learn about Mexican muralists and New Deal artists and to see how Mexican artists influenced art and artists in the United States," Garcia said. "American and Latino artists have changed our public buildings, spaces and collective history."

A hub for Latino art

As one of 13 Latino museums in the U.S., El Museo Latino in south Omaha presents Latino art throughout the year.

The current exhibit is titled "Agents of Change: Mexican Muralists and New Deal Artists," a selection of works from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Sheldon Museum of Art.

The exhibit -- which is open until Jan. 4 -- will present a view into the works by Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and a selection of WPA artists, Garcia said.

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