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José Guadalupe Posada and the Mexican Broadside

Diane Miliotes, with a technical note by Rachel Freeman

American Association of Museums Honorable Mention

Softcover $9.95
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This striking publication focuses attention on a portion of the Art Institute's collection that has rarely been seen in recent years, late 19th- and early 20th-century Mexican broadsides. Popular-press publishers and itinerant hawkers sold these colorful, graphically powerful ephemeral sheets as penny handbills to lower middle-class and working-class audiences. The museum's holdings span a wide range of themes and styles. Of the 300 objects in the collection, more than 275 are by the most celebrated broadside illustrator, José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913). His images, which are engraved or etched, depict sensational crimes and curiosities; news of dramatic and noteworthy events from natural disasters to military campaigns and national celebrations; images for religious devotion; political and clerical spoofs; song sheets introducing the latest popular tunes; corridos, which narrate the escapades of bandits and heroes; and perhaps the most familiar genre of all: depictions of Day of the Dead celebrations that feature the often humorous and/or satirical calaveras, or skeleton figures.

The 40-page catalogue, authored by guest curator Diane Miliotes, is in English and Spanish. It features 30 illustrations, 27 of which are in color. In addition to an overview of Posada and the Mexican broadside by Miliotes, the catalogue contains a technical note by paper conservator Rachel Freeman.

The Art Institute of Chicago, 2006
9 1/2 x 8 5/8 in.; 40 pages; 33 color illustrations
ISBN 0-300-12137-7