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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Lecture Series presents:
A Mexican Muralist in the U.S.:
Orozco and the Dartmouth Doppler Effect

with Jacquelynn Baas
Monday, April 18, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Admission is $5

Jacquelynn Baas The fascinating story reveled in Jacquelynn Baas's lecture, "A Mexican Muralist in the U.S.: Orozco and the Dartmouth Doppler Effect," combines elements of creative genius and narrative myth in a mural cycle located on the campus of Dartmouth College that many critics judge to be the greatest mural in the United States.

In the depths of the depression, José Clemente Orozco, then living in New York, traveled to Dartmouth to give a lecture-demonstration on fresco painting. The result was a remarkable artistic feat - twenty-six explosive panels in the school's Baker Library entitled "The Epic of American Civilization."

It depicts America's two cultural currents - the indigenous and the European - embodied in the figures of the messianic Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl and Cortez, the European anti-hero. A third, prophetic figure of an apocalyptic Christ provides the explosive conclusion to this mythic narrative of the Americas.

Orozco Murals: Cortez Dartmouth was a particularly fitting place, because George III chartered the college, founded in 1769, "for education and instruction of the Indian Tribes... and also of English Youth and any others." Orozco's complex and controversial work speaks directly to these twin streams of cultural currents that have shaped both American continents.

In her illustrated lecture, Baas will explain how this commission to one of Mexico's two greatest muralists came about in 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression. After a brief intermission, she will add a coda about two very different artistic responses to Orozco's revolutionary mural cycle - the first by abstractionist Jackson Pollock, and the second by commercial illustrator and Dartmouth alumnus Walter Beach Humphrey.

Orozco Murals: Quetzalcoatl A full-time resident of The Sea Ranch, Baas is Director Emeritus of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. She first gave this lecture at UC Berkeley's Center for Latin American Studies in 2008.

Not only will those attending enjoy a visual panorama, but they will also learn more about a national treasure by an artist not often associated with Ivy League colleges.

For more information, see Violent Visions in a Silent Space by Jacquelynn Baas, published in the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies, Spring, 2008.

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The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
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Join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Gualala Arts, 1961 - 2011

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