Orozco's Epic

José Clemente Orozco's extraordinary mural cycle The Epic of American Civilization (1932-34) is located in Dartmouth's Baker Library. The library is currently closed to the public, see below to learn how you can explore Orozco's Epic online.

About the Mural

The Epic of American Civilization by José Clemente Orozco, painted between 1932 and 1934, is one of Dartmouth's greatest artistic resources. As Professor Mary Coffey writes in the Hood Museum of Art's publication Orozco at Dartmouth: "José Clemente Orozco reorients the 'epic of America' from the standard US narrative that begins with British colonization along the northeastern seaboard and proceeds heroically west to a Mexican story rooted in Mesoamerican civilizations and the devastation wrought by the Spanish Conquest . . . Orozco presents America's epic as cyclical in nature, the eternal return of destruction and creation, rather than a linear tale of democratic expansion and progress."

Located in the Orozco Room in Baker Library, the 24 panels comprising the mural cover nearly 3,200 square feet of wall space. One of Orozco's finest creations and one of Dartmouth's most treasured works, the mural was designated a national historic landmark in 2013.

The Orozco Room was made possible by the Manton Foundation, whose generosity provides perpetual support for the preservation, understanding, and awareness of the Orozco mural.

Virtual 3D Tour

Explore The Epic of American Civilization virtually through this 3D Matterport scan. Move through the space by clicking on the transparent circles on the floor. Click on the color-coded dots to learn more about Orozco's mural cycle through additional imagery, text, and audio.

Audio Tours

Listen to a question-and-answer session about Orozco's commission and experience at Dartmouth with Dr. Jacquelynn Baas, director emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley, Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and inaugural director of the Hood Museum of Art.

Listen to an audio tour by Dartmouth Associate Professor of Anthropology John Watanabe. Professor Watanabe is a Latin American and Mesoamerican specialist.

Publications

Download Orozco at Dartmouth: The Epic of American Civilization (pdf) 

Descargar Orozco en Dartmouth: La épica de la civilización americana (pdf) 

Take A Closer Look at Orozco's "Gods of the Modern World" panel using this brochure. The A Closer Look brochures were originally designed for use in the galleries. They introduce visitors to one work of art through the Learning to Look method.

Learning to Look: José Clemente Orozco (teacher resource). Based on the Learning to Look method created by the Hood Museum of Art. This discussion-based approach will introduce Orozco's test panel using the five steps involved in exploring a work of art: careful observation, analysis, research, interpretation, and critique.

Dartmouth Digital Orozco

View a full-screen panoramic image of the The Epic of American Civilization and examine preparatory drawings in context. The site includes in-process documentary photographs as well as essays by Dartmouth students who have taken courses on Orozco and Mexican art. 

For more information, read the related article or the press release (pdf)

Dartmouth Digital Orozco was produced by the Hood Museum of Art in collaboration with the Neukom Institute for Computational Science. Funding was generously provided by the Class of 1960, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Neukom Institute for Computational Science.

Visit

Please note: The Orozco Room is physically closed for the 2020–21 academic year. Library staff expertise is available, please click here for library contact information. If possible, materials will continue to be retrieved for researchers upon request.

The Orozco Room is located on the lower level of Dartmouth's Baker Library. The street address is: 25 North Main Street, Hanover, NH 03755.

Click here to view the Baker Library's hours.

Photographs of the mural may be taken for personal use only. Flash photography is not permitted.

For image rights and reproductions requests, please click here for more information.

Additional Information 

Related Exhibitions

Related Stories

Past Programs About the Murals

  • Watch the 2018 Manton Foundation Annual Orozco Lecture, delivered by Dartmouth Associate Professor of Art History Mary Coffey, "White Zombies and Black Labor: Specters of Slavery and Rebellion in José Clemente Orozco's Epic of American Civilization"

Piction collections thumbnails

José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Negroes (Negros colgados, Hanged Black Men), from the portfolio The Contemporary Print Group: American...
1933
2007.57.6
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
The Elevated
1928
2013.38
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Forest
not dated
2013.72.12
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Man on Horse (Study for "Combat")
about 1940
2013.72.13
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Ballet y Máscaras (Ballet and Masks)
1945
2013.72.14
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Clowns
1945
2013.72.15
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Two Figures
about 1945
2013.72.16
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
The Requiem (alternate titles: El Réquiem; Requiem; Velorio)
1928
2014.54
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
La Retaguardia (Rear Guard)
1929
2015.1.1
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Teatro de Variedades en Harlem (Vaudeville in Harlem)
1928
2015.1.2
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Head of native in profile, Study for Migration (Panel 1) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.10
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Schematic study for Ancient Human Sacrifice (Panel 3) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.11
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Ancient Human Sacrifice (Panel 3) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.12
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for The Coming of Quetzacoatl (Panel 5) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.13
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Head of Huehueteotl for The Coming of Quetzalcoatl (Panel 5) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.14
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for The Coming of Quetzalcoatl (Panel 5) for The Epic of American Civilization,
1932-1934
2016.32.15
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for The Coming of Quetzalcoatl (Panel 5) for The Epic of American Civilization,
1932-1934
2016.32.15
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for The Coming of Quetzalcoatl (Panel 5) for The Epic of American Civilization,
1932-1934
2016.32.15
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for The Coming of Quetzalcoatl (Panel 5) for The Epic of American Civilization,
1932-1934
2016.32.15
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Two Heads of Indigenous Figures in Profile for The Coming of Quetzalcoatl (Panel 5) for The...
1932-1934
2016.32.16
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Three Pairs of Hands for the Pre-Columbian Golden Age (Panel 6) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.17
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Three Pairs of Hands for the Pre-Columbian Golden Age (Panel 6) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.17
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Two Fists for The Pre-Columbian Golden Age (Panel 6) for The Epic of American Civilization,...
1932-1934
2016.32.18
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Head of Native for The Departure of Quetzalcoatl (Panel 7) for The Epic of American Civilization,...
1930-1934
2016.32.19
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of the Rebel for Hispano-America (Panel 14) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.1
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Right Hand for The Departure of Quetzalcoatl (Panel 7) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.20
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Head of Cortez for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.21
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Head of Cortez for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.21
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Head of Cortez for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.21
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Head of Cortez for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.21
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Head of Teacher for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.22
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Head of Rebel for Hispano-America (Plate 14) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.23
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Head of Rebel for Hispano-America (Panel 14) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.24
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Unknown Soldier for Modern Human Sacrifice (Panel 17) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.25
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Unknown Soldier for Modern Human Sacrifice (Panel 17) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.25
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Unknown Soldier for Modern Human Sacrifice (Panel 17) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.25
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Unknown Soldier for Modern Human Sacrifice (Panel 17) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.25
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Right foot of Christ figure for Modern Migration of the Spirit (Panel 18) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.26
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Right foot of Christ figure for Modern Migration of the Spirit (Panel 18) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.26
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Right foot of Christ figure for Modern Migration of the Spirit (Panel 18) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.26
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Right foot of Christ figure for Modern Migration of the Spirit (Panel 18) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.26
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Hand Holding Spear for Ancient Human Sacrifice (Panel 3) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.27
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Hand Holding Spear for Ancient Human Sacrifice (Panel 3) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.27
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Hand Holding Spear for Ancient Human Sacrifice (Panel 3) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.27
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Hand Holding Spear for Ancient Human Sacrifice (Panel 3) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.27
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Left Hand for Hispano-America (Panel 14) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.28
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Left Hand for Hispano-America (Panel 14) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.28
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Skeleton of Fetus in Profile for Gods of the Modern World (Panel 15) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.29
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Skeleton of Fetus in Profile for Gods of the Modern World (Panel 15) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.29
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Headdress of Xipe Totec for The Coming of Quetzalcoatl (Panel 5) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.2
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of standing figures for The Epic of American Civilization, 1932-1934
1932-1934
2016.32.30
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of standing figures for The Epic of American Civilization, 1932-1934
1932-1934
2016.32.30
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of standing figures for The Epic of American Civilization, 1932-1934
1932-1934
2016.32.30
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Men Standing for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.31
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Men Standing for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.31
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Rebel Head for Hispano-America (Panel 14) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.32
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Head of Teacher for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.33
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Studies of parts of a fetal skeleton for Gods of the Modern World (Panel 15) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.3
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of fetal skeleton for The Gods of the Modern World (Panel 15) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.4
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of fetal skeleton in profile for Gods of the Modern World (Panel 15) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.5
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of fetal skeleton, front view for The Gods of the Modern World (Panel 15) for The Epic of American...
1932-1934
2016.32.6
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Geometric forms, study for Hispano-America (Panel 14) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.7
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Geometric forms, study for Hispano-America (Panel 14) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.7
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Ship and Anchor for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.8
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Migration (Panel 1) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.9
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Migration (Panel 1) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.9
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Migration (Panel 1) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.9
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Migration (Panel 1) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
2016.32.9
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for The Departure of Quetzalcoatl (Panel 7) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1932-1934
d.978.19
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Machine Image II (Panel 10) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.100
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Decorative Vertical Form for Machine Image II (Panel 10) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.101
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Machine Image II (Panel 10) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.102
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Machine Image II (Panel 10) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.103
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for The Departure of Quetzalcoalt (Panel 7) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.104
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Ships for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.105
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Kneeling Figure for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.106
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.107
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.108
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of lower half, Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.109
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Foot for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.110
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Feet for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.111
Jose Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Hispano-America (Panel 14) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.113
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.114
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Cortez and the Cross (Panel 11) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.115
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Cortez on the Cross (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization.
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.116
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for The Machine (Panel 12) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.117
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for The Machine (Panel 12) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.118
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Gears and Girders for The Machine (Panel 12) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.119
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.121
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Figures for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.122
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.123
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of School Teacher's Arm for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.124
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Hand for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.125
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Hand for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.126
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Children for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.127
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Children for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.128
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Hand and Figure for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.129
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Child's Hand for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
1932-1934
d.988.52.130
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study for Anglo-America plus sketch on reverse (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.131
José Clemente Orozco, Mexican, 1883 - 1949
Study of Figure for Anglo-America (Panel 13) for The Epic of American Civilization
about 1930-1934
d.988.52.132