The more I studied Carlos Mérida, the more I realized that his artistic process had required a great deal of self-reflection. After his first trip to Paris, Mérida retreated to the hillside towns near his home in Quetzaltenango to study his native culture. Only then did he attempt to create a unique Mayan aesthetic.
Therefore, I found that Mérida’s artworks can remind us of the power of self-knowledge. Reëxamining our own heritage (and our identification with it) can give us a healthy dose of humility, but it can also inspire us when we most need it. It is no coincidence that many of us engage with art in pursuit of this kind of contemplation, as well as a desire to feel wonder and awe.
Being a Senior Intern at the Hood Museum of Art has given me the marvelous opportunity to see how an art institution is run "behind-the-scenes". I greatly enjoyed learning how art curators, directors of academic programming, and other museum staff all collaborate to fulfill the mission of a teaching museum.
I would like to thank the staff of the Hood and the Dali Lab for all their help in creating this project, and the Levinson family for providing the opportunity for this internship. In addition, I would like to thank Professor Mary Coffey, as her expertise on Mexican artists was invaluable to this project.