Imagining the Aztec Capital in Modern Mexico City
272 Pages, x 1.10 in, 64 color and 25 b&w illustrations
Sales Date: May 16, 2023
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.
What a marvelous book! Delia Cosentino and Adriana Zavala illuminate the urban history of modern Mexico City by demonstrating the ways Tenochtitlan—as a historical place and an idea—lived on in a rapidly changing capital. The authors bring together a stunning variety of objects to show how artists, intellectuals, and cartographers shaped the image of the city and its past, in dialogue with historical representations of the metropolis. Resurrecting Tenochtitlan is a fantastic contribution to scholarship on the place whose repeated, multilayered reinvention over seven hundred years has made it the most architecturally, visually, and urbanistically significant city in the Americas.~Kathryn E. O'Rourke, Trinity University, author of Modern Architecture in Mexico City: History, Representation, and the Shaping of a Capital
Resurrecting Tenochtitlan excavates the fascinating process by which Mexico’s early twentieth-century artists, intellectuals, and government officials activated and materialized the foundational history of Tenochtitlan within Mexico City’s urban landscape. Delia Cosentino and Adriana Zavala provide a richly researched and illustrated account analyzing how these actors animated Mexico City as a territory in which the post-revolutionary ideologies of indigenismo and mestizaje could be articulated spatially, adding invaluable layers to our understanding of historical and contemporary Mexico City.~Jennifer Jolly, Ithaca College, author of Creating Pátzcuaro, Creating Mexico: Art, Tourism, and Nation Building under Lázaro Cárdenas
- List of Illustrations
- 1. Imagining Tenochtitlan
- 2. Archaeologists Set the Stage
- 3. The Civic Art of Early Maps
- 4. Picturing the Capital, Integrating the Nation
- 5. The Perfect Tenochtitlan
- 6. Mexico City: Yesterday, Today, and Always
- 7. Tenochtitlan Restaged
The publication of Resurrecting Tenochtitlan was made possible by the support of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowment in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture.