Reverse, inscribed, in ink, lower left: A 142; reverse, inscribed, in graphite, lower right, 61.178.16; reverse, inscribed, in ink, lower left: 266
José Clemente Orozco made hundreds of preparatory sketches for his early 1930s mural, The Epic of American Civilization, located in Dartmouth’s Baker Library. Early studies for the schoolteacher’s face resemble George Washington, one of the most recognizable and reproduced historical figures of all time. In the mural’s final version, Orozco portrayed the stern-faced schoolteacher as an agent of conformity and control surrounded by expressionless school children. By merging George Washington with the schoolteacher, Orozco highlighted how US education promotes nationalism by not fully reckoning with the nation’s entangled, complicated, and often violent history.
Comparative illustration at bottom of label: José Clemente Orozco, The Epic of American Civilization: Anglo-America (Panel 13), fresco, 120 x 103 in. (304.8 x 261.6 cm). Commissioned by the Trustees of Dartmouth College; P.934.13.15
From the 2022 exhibition Historical Imaginary, curated by Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art
Film Studies 42.23, Travelers and Tourists, Heidi Denzel, Spring 2023
History 63.02, Reading Artifacts: The Material Culture of Science, Whitney Barlow Robles, Spring 2023
Historical Imaginary, Luise and Morton Kaish Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, December 17, 2022-March 5, 2023.
The artist; by descent to J. Clement Orozco, Guadalajara, Mexico; sold to present collection, 2016.
Orozco family catalogue number: 1402
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