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José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949)

The Epic of American Civilization is an extensive mural cycle created by Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco between 1932 and 1934. One of Orozco’s finest creations and one of Dartmouth’s most treasured works, it is also rightfully placed among the exemplary works of mural painting in the nation. It was designated a national historic landmark in 2013.

The mural is composed of twenty-four distinct panels depicting the history of the Americas from the Aztec migration into Mexico to the industrialization of modern society. Located in the reserve corridor of Baker Library, now the Orozco Room, these scenes cover nearly 3,200 square feet of wall space. In addition to the Epic of American Civilization and hundreds of related drawings produced while the work was in progress, Orozco also created a single-panel fresco for Dartmouth titled Man Released from the Mechanistic to the Creative Life.

The Hood owns several other Orozco works, and recently acquired the painting The Elevated (1928).

Learn more about Orozco's Epic of American Civilization.

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