Resurrecting Tenochtitlan: Imagining the Aztec Capital in Modern Mexico City (Hardcover)
How Mexican artists and intellectuals created a new identity for modern Mexico City through its ties to Aztec Tenochtitlan.
After archaeologists rediscovered a corner of the Templo Mayor in 1914, artists, intellectuals, and government officials attempted to revive Tenochtitlan as an instrument for reassessing Mexican national identity in the wake of the Revolution of 1910. What followed was a conceptual excavation of the original Mexica capital in relation to the transforming urban landscape of modern Mexico City.
Revolutionary-era scholars took a renewed interest in sixteenth century maps as they recognized an intersection between Tenochtitlan and the foundation of a Spanish colonial settlement directly over it. Meanwhile, Mexico City developed with modern roads and expanded civic areas as agents of nationalism promoted concepts like indigenismo, the embrace of Indigenous cultural expressions. The promotion of artworks and new architectural projects such as Diego Rivera’s Anahuacalli Museum helped to make real the notion of a modern Tenochtitlan. Employing archival materials, newspaper reports, and art criticism from 1914 to 1964, Resurrecting Tenochtitlan connects art history with urban studies to reveal the construction of a complex physical and cultural layout for Mexico’s modern capital.
About the Author
Delia Cosentino is an associate professor of Latin American art history at DePaul University. She is the author of Las joyas de Zinacantepec: Arte colonial en el Monasterio de San Miguel and was a guest editor for Artl@s Bulletin’s thematic volume “Cartographic Styles and Discourse.”
Adriana Zavala is an associate professor of the history of art and architecture and race, colonialism, and diaspora studies at Tufts University. She is the author of Becoming Modern, Becoming Tradition: Women, Gender, and Representation in Mexican Art.