Often referred to as “Printmaker of the Mexican People,” José Guadalupe Posada (1851-1913) is considered a leading contributor to Latin America’s grand satirical print tradition. He is best known today on both sides of the Mexican-American border for his Calaveras, the costumed skeletons portraying politicians, heroes, and common people that often go into circulation during Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
From Hogarth to Daumier to Covarrubias and Hirschfeld, José Guadalupe Posada’s spirited imagery stands squarely within the genre of caricature and its grand timeless tradition. His broadsides, featuring folktales or corridos that were often put to music, are called upon by scholars and students studying Mexico’s social and cultural climate prior to and during a decade of revolution (1910-1920). Today Posada’s artwork, with its unique graphic quality, provides an authentic if not entertaining view of Mexico’s people in transition from an ancient agrarian society to a more modern, industrial age.
The José Guadalupe Posada collection consists of 132 broadsides and single sheets of corridos and other songs, all drawn from the Edward Laroque Tinker collection. Many of the satirical broadsides were published by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo who, along with Posada, satirized bourgeois society during the rein of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz’s dictatorship. Echoing the traditions of the nineteenth century “Penny Press” that were hawked on street corners, Vanegas Arroyo’s tabloid-style publications were the perfect venue for Posada’s creative if not macabre imagery illustrating crimes of passion, tragedies, heroic adventures, and daily gossip. Hundreds of Posada’s images were published in a variety of colors on inexpensive paper; consequently few survive today due to their highly ephemeral nature.
Translations were provided by Fernanda Valverde and Albert Palacios, with assistance from Daniela Lozano.
Browse all items in the collection.
Or browse the collection by series:
Series I. Broadsides and Single Sheets, 1900-1942, undated
Subseries A. Calaveras, 1906-1915, undated
Subseries B. Politics and National Events, 1901-1942, undated
Subseries C. Disasters, 1903-1920, undated
Subseries D. Heroes and Villains, 1902-1919, undated
Subseries E. Scandals, 1901-1902, undated
Subseries F. Everyday Events, 1901-1918, undated
Subseries G. Love, 1901-1919, undated
Subseries H. Bullfights, 1905-1907
Subseries I. Prisons, 1900-1920
Subseries J. Mexico City, 1905, undated
Subseries K. Animals, 1903-1914
Subseries L. Volcanos, 1918