The Orozco Mural
One of the greatest treasures of the Dartmouth College collection is the ambitious mural The Epic of American Civilization, painted by the Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco between 1932 and 1934 in the reserve corridor of Baker Library, now the Orozco Room. Offering a complex and compelling narrative that covers the history of the Americas from the migration of the Aztecs into central Mexico to the development of our modern industrialized society, the mural is composed of twenty-four individual panels, or "scenes," and covers approximately 3,200 square feet. One of Orozco's greatest works, The Epic of American Civilization must also be counted among the finest examples of mural painting in this country. The Orozco Room was made possible by the Manton Foundation, whose generosity provides perpetual support for the preservation of the Orozco mural. Visitors can view the mural whenever the Orozco Room is open.
In March 2013, the Orozco mural cycle was designated a national historic landmark! Read the article on Dartmouth Now.
Download and listen to three audio commentaries about Orozco's murals:Take a tour with Professor Mary Coffey of the Art History Department, Dartmouth College. Professor Coffey is a specialist in Latin American art. Listen to a question-and-answer session about Orozco's commission and experience at Dartmouth with independent scholar Dr. Jacquelynn Baas, director emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley, Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and first director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College. Take a tour with Professor John Watanabe of the Anthropology Department at Dartmouth College. Professor Watanabe is a Latin American and Mesoamerican specialist.
Video CommentariesView Professor Mary Coffey, a specialist in Latin American art, give the Manton Foundation Inaugural Orozco Lecture: "Cortes and the 'Angel of History': Reflections on Orozco's Epic of American Civilization and 'Messianic Time.' Watch "The Orozco Mural Quetzalcoatl," a 23-minute, color film written, produced, and directed in 1961 by Robert Canton '58. The film's purpose is to tell the myth of Quetzalcoatl as depicted in The Epic of American Civilization.
Photography and Reproductions
Photographs of the murals may be taken for personal use only. Flash photography is not allowed.
For use of reproductions of Orozco mural images in a publication, please make a request in writing or by fax to the Hood Museum of Art. In the request, state the intended usage and whether the image will be produced in black and white or in color. Upon receipt, the Hood Museum will prepare a permission form and invoice to send to the applicant. Black and white prints are sold to the applicant; 4 x 5 color transparencies are provided on a rental basis only.