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Virtual galleries and museums

Ron Mader

In a country that boasts of more than 3,000 years of civilization, Mexican artists have long garnered respect around the globe. During the past few millennia, artisans carved elaborate glyphs in stone stelae, inked codices on paper made from the henequen plant, and painted large murals on public buildings. Now, with the advent of the Web, they are using the ethereal Internet as a canvas for new forms of artistic expression. This month we review some of the fascinating galleries and museums on the Web.

Mexican Prints: The Kyron Tour

Kyron Art
***** (out of 5*)

For decades, the Kyron studios in Mexico City were an artist's paradise, providing not only studio space but the collaborative energies needed by the artists to create some of their most vital work. If you missed the 1993-1995 Kyron tour of Mexican prints exhibited in Asia, check out the online gallery that boasts works by Armando Morales, Rodolfo Nieto, Rufino Tamayo, José Luis Cuevas and a baker's dozen of other prominent Latin American artists.

There are 62 images in all, and while it undoubtedly would be better to see the prints in person, this Web gallery -- archived on the excellent Mexico Connect Web site -- is beautifully designed and well-organized. To contact the "curators," e-mail: kyvlady@df1.telmex.net.mx.

Diego Rivera Virtual Museum

http://www.diegorivera.com/diego_home_eng.html *****

Paired with a Spanish-language version ( http://www.diegorivera.com/), this Web site has won accolades for outstanding work. The online museum provides a general background and portfolio as well as more eclectic resources of interest to researchers, including a reproduction of the magazine Mexican Folk-Ways (1928-1930) ( http://www.diegorivera.com/rev.html), whose art editor was none other than Rivera.

For the cyber-savvy, there's a virtual tour of the artist's Anahuacalli Museum ( http://www.diegorivera.com/visi.html), which requires QuickTime VR software. E-mail: info@diegorivera.com.

University of Guadalajara

http://udgftp.cencar.udg.mx/ingles/ *****

Anyone interested in the rich culture of Guadalajara ought to make a pilgrimage to this striking academic site. Encounter the Mexicas in the pre-Columbian culture section ( http://udgftp.cencar.udg.mx/ingles/Precolombina/precointro.html) or view Diego Rivera's watercolors in the gallery of paintings ( http://udgftp.cencar.udg.mx/ingles/Pintura/inpain.html). The site is not limited to fine art, but covers more popular cultural areas such as Mexico's national sport-charrería, or rodeo ( http://udgftp.cencar.udg.mx/ingles/charros/documentos/incharro.html).

This is a beautiful site and a model of what universities can accomplish on the Web.

Virtual Forum of Mexican Culture

http://www.arts-history.mx/index2.html ***

For anyone visiting Mexico City, this particular index is an invaluable preparation for quality museum-trekking. The museum directory ( http://www.arts-history.mx/museos/muse2.html) lists all of the major venues, from the Museo de la Revolución ( http://www.arts-history.mx/mrevolucion.html) to lesser-known community museums ( http://www.arts-history.mx/museos/comunitarios/comunitarios.html) found throughout the country. Unfortunately, the home page for this excellent Web site is cluttered, giving space to Web site sponsors rather than providing a clear index of online materials. E-mail: mzavala@spin.com.mx.

These are just a fraction of the excellent cultural sites now online. Interested in architecture? Check out Pancupe, a virtual book ( http://www.bbslaguna.com.mx/HectorMoreno/pancupe/04indice/index.htm) by Hector Moreno, documenting classic structures from Mexico's Lagunera region. For a general overview of the arts, spend some time with the Mexico Web Guide's culture links-- http://mexico.web.com.mx/fmuseos.html.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Ron Mader © 2008
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