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Postcards from Mexico City

On August 1, 2015 I flew to Mexico City for a short trip that was paid for by vouchers from American Airlines. The round trip only cost me $34.00. I hadn’t been to Mexico City in twenty-three years. So my friend from Oaxaca met me in Mexico City as we decided to go museum hopping during this visit. My decision to return was motivated by the exhibit at the Franz Mayer Museum called “El Rebozo Made in Mexico” which closes on August 30th. It had traveled there from the Fashion and Textile Museum in London. Fortunately, I happened to be there during a weekend that was filled with events. I missed the events on Friday and Saturday. A sale of forty artisans from eleven states in Mexico took place from July 31st - August 2nd. Some of my friends who I have bought from in the past were there such as Cecilia Baustista from Ahuran, Michoacán, Moisés Martínez Velasco from San Pedro Cajones, Oaxaca and Pedro Martín Concepción from Cuautmazaco, Puebla. There were many vendors from Tenancingo, Puebla with their beautiful rebozos. Along with the sale there was a talk by Marta Turok, weaving demonstrations and a concert by Susanna Harp. It was great fun and the exhibit was wonderful too. Many of the rebozos on display were from the collections of Banamex, El Museo Textil in Oaxaca, Ruth Lechuga and three from Lila Downs. There were beautiful paintings that accompanied the rebozos in the exhibit.

The rest of my trip was spent seeing the murals by Siquerios, Orozco and Diego Rivera at the Bellas Artes building, visiting the Museo del Arte Popular, the Casa Azul (Frida Kahlo’s home), Museo Mural de Diego Rivera, the Dolores Olmedo Patiño Museum, El Templo Mayor Museo, Museo Nacional de Antropología and the murals by Diego Rivera at the Palacio Nacional on the zócalo. I did get in a little shopping as well as I went to Victor Fosado’s store for folk art that is now run by his daughter Pilar, the Fonart store and Remigio's for textiles.

I had not visited the Casa Azul in twenty-four years ago. It had really changed in many respects as one could just walk in without standing in line. Long lines are now present, a turn style is in the entrance, all of the ex-votos had been removed on the wall where the staircase was located to go from the first floor to the second floor and Frida’s painting “The Two Fridas” was no longer present. It was great to see her clothing still on display from the exhibit called “Appearances Can Be Deceiving”. There was now a gift shop and a video projection for visitors. In the past, La Casa Azul felt more like her home than a tourist destination. I would assume the movie "Frida" with Salma Hayek has made Frida more popular than she was 24 years ago and the fact that Madonna started collecting her artwork in the early 1990s. As a friend of mine has said, "Frida is a rock star".

The biggest treat was visiting the Dolores Olmedo Patiño Museum after I left the Casa Azul. This museum is located in Xochimilco. The hacienda dates from the 16th century. It was converted into a museum in 1994. The main building of the museum looks like a church. It is located on the most beautiful grounds with peacocks and the Mexican hairless dogs known as Xoloitzcointles strolling through the gardens. The actual museum is made up five buildings. Dolores was a patron of Diego Rivera and a friend of Frida’s. She has 145 paintings and drawings by Diego and 25 paintings by Frida in her collection. Some of the well known paintings by Frida featured in the galleries are “The Broken Column”, “A Few Small Nips”, “Self-Portrait with Monkey” and “Henry Ford Hospital”. There are also 6,000 pieces of pre-Hispanic figurines and sculpture in the collection.

My last afternoon was spent at the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Cuauhtémoc Park. This museum was first class. It showcases the best pre-Columbian artifacts that I had ever seen in Mexico. The upper floors of the museum are devoted to indigenous culture, clothing, musical instruments and folk art. One cannot see this what this museum has to offer in one day. It is simply mind-blogging!

Mexico City is an amazing place to visit. Hopefully it won’t be another twenty-three years before I return again!
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Fiesta
Fiesta
Calaveras at El Museo del Arte Popular
Calaveras at El Museo del Arte Popular
Daily life in Tenochititlan
Daily life in Tenochititlan
Diego and Frida
Diego and Frida
Feather rebozo by Cecilia Bautista
Feather rebozo by Cecilia Bautista
Frida's studio
Frida's studio
Photos of women wearing rebozos
Photos of women wearing rebozos
Judases at El Museo del Arte Popular
Judases at El Museo del Arte Popular
Classic Rebozo
Classic Rebozo
Dining At Azul Historíco
Dining At Azul Historíco
Gold jewelry from Oaxaca
Gold jewelry from Oaxaca
Jaguar at El Museo del Arte Popular
Jaguar at El Museo del Arte Popular
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