Nov. 18 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
On November 18th, the Mexic-Arte Museum hosted “How ‘Catrina,’ Created by Posada and Rivera, became the face of Day of the Dead: An illustrated lecture” by Dr. Ruben Cordova. Ruben C. Cordova, who holds a BA from Brown University and a PhD from UC Berkeley, has researched Day of the Dead for decades in Mexico and the US. He has curated more than 30 exhibitions, written or contributed to 19 catalogs and books, and authored 70 articles and reviews.
In this illustrated lecture, he explained how a figure in a modest print created by José Guadalupe Posada and elaborated in a fresco by Diego Rivera became not only the face of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), but a potent symbol of Mexican nationality. Moreover, the Catrina character has developed into a world-wide phenomenon that transcends both Mexico and Day of the Dead.
Dr. Cordova drew on his published work (see attached bibliography) and also includes new insights. His articles in Glasstire, including his 2019 José Guadalupe Posada and Diego Rivera Fashion Catrina: From Sellout To National Icon (and Back Again?), the first of five articles on the subject, examines Catrina’s creation, her transformations, and her increased visibility in popular culture. Cordova has also written on Posada and Day of the Dead in The Encyclopedia Latina (2004) and the San Antonio Report (2020). The catalogue for The Day of the Dead in Art, the exhibition he curated at Centro de Artes in San Antonio in 2019, is a comprehensive study of Day of the Dead in Mexico and the US. It begins with sections on Posada and his followers.