Recently, while, going through Veronica Compton Wallace’s art collection, it helped me understand more about her father, Mexican American Muralist Armando Campero. I was drawn to a few pieces of memorabilia from the Mexican Revolution, circa 1930’s to 1950’s. It was clear Mexico was a nation of strife between their people and the politicians in office. Corruption was at its worse, and the Labor Unions united in favor of a suitable President after the assassination of previous presidents. Learning this part of Mexico’s history compelled me to research more on the topic. I read of the US support of Alvaro Obregon circa 1923-24 and aided him with arms and 17 US warplanes which were dispatched to bomb the uprising of rebels in Jalisco from a faction opposed to Obregon’s Bucareli Treaty with the US.
It was during this period the art of muralism flourished in Mexico, although it can be traced as far back as the Olmec Civilization. Artists such as Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco and others produced art through murals commissioned by the their government, which would convey information to the people who were illiterate in the country, which were many. The artists of the revolution, through art programs took on understudies and traveled to America. Veronica’s father, Armando, would become Diego Rivera’s understudy.
The three historical artists which were known to inform the people and unite under the Mexican Communist Party at the time, were Siqueiros, Rivera, and Orozco. They launched El Machete, a periodical for the people of the party which became outlawed and in 1925 remaining illegal until 1935. Obtaining the periodicals during this period could subject a member of the movement executed or imprisoned.
These documents are now part of Museum Americana’s collection. Having collected a few of El Machete’s periodicals, we will preserve these as part of an Art Movement in Mexico which gave rise to muralism, which carries on in America as part of Mexican American Culture. Today murals depict a variety of themes ranging from abstract art and that of Latino heritage, especially in Los Angeles.