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Manuel Álvarez Bravo and His Contemporaries

Manuel Álvarez Bravo and His Contemporaries

March 20 - August 1, 2010

In a special collaboration, the Harry Ransom Center and the Blanton Museum of Art present Manuel Álvarez Bravo and His Contemporaries: Photographs from the Collections of the Harry Ransom Center and The Blanton Museum of Art. Organized by The Blanton as part of The University of Texas at Austin’s celebration of the Mexican Bicentennial, the exhibition will feature 45 iconic images by “the father of Mexican photography,” drawn from the Harry Ransom Center and The Blanton—UT’s two primary collections. The show will also include excellent examples of work by Álvarez Bravo’s contemporaries including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Paul Strand, and Edward Weston.  Ursula Davila-Villa, The Blanton’s associate curator of Latin American art remarks, “Manuel Álvarez Bravo was a major figure during Mexico’s modernist period, a moment of great transformation. His work offers a unique perspective of Mexico from that of his contemporaries such as Rivera and Orozco, with an artistic sensibility that brings together local and international preoccupations of the early twentieth century.”

Señor de Papantia (Man from Papantia), 1934-35

Manuel Álvarez Bravo
Señor de Papantia (Man from Papantia), 1934-35
Courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center
at The University of Texas at Austin

The works in the exhibition will be supplemented with seven volumes from UT’s Nettie Benson Library—an extraordinary repository for Latin American archives—and the Fine Arts Library, which will provide a frame of reference for understanding Álvarez Bravo’s role in Mexico’s transformation from revolutionary times into modernity. These documents will underscore the extent of the trans-Atlantic and cross-border dialogue that took place between artistic circles from the 1920s through the 1950s.

Several public programs will be held in conjunction with the exhibition. A special lecture* by Vanderbilt art history professor and author Leonard Folgarait and UT professor of art and art history Roberto Tejada, will be held on March 28 at 2 PM, as well as a talk** on the unknown gastronomy of Mexico by cookbook author and food historian Diana Kennedy, to be held April 29 at 6 PM.

And, a series of rare Mexican films, for which Álvarez Bravo served as cameramen will illustrate the artist’s involvement with the international avant-garde. The film series includes: Que Viva Mexico! (1931) on Sunday, April 4, 3 PM; Los Olvidados (1950) on Sunday, April 11, 3 PM; and La Diosa Arrodillada (1947) on Sunday, April 25, 3 PM. This series is presented as part of The University of Texas at Austin's programming to celebrate the Mexican Bicentennial. Cost: $3 members, UT students, faculty, and staff; $5 general admission.

For a complete list of programs, please visit our calendar.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo and his Contemporaries: Photographs from the Collections of the Harry Ransom Center and The Blanton Museum of Art is organized by The Blanton in collaboration with the Harry Ransom Center. Funding for the exhibition is provided in part by the Susan Vaughan Foundation. 

*Funding for this lecture is provided by the Barbara Duncan Centennial Endowed Lectureship.

** Co-presented by the Blanton Museum of Art and the Mexican Center of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies.

These events are presented as part of the University of Texas at Austin’s programming to celebrate the Mexican Bicentennial.

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