Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mexico Day 5: Franz Mayer Museum and Ballet Folklorico

On our last full day in Mexico, we walked to the Franz Mayer Museum.

Located in a former monastery and hospital, the museum houses a collection of decorative and utilitarian arts that Mayer, a German-Mexican financier, amassed over his life--furniture, silver, ceramics, etc. Many of the pieces come from Europe, although the majority originated in Mexico, with a European flair that suggests they were for wealthy colonials.

Jars, 18th c.

Adan Diaz, 1514-1519
The oddest item I saw was a delicate miniature ivory anatomical model of the female body from 18th-c. Nuremberg, Germany:

As an added bonus, the museum was hosting its seventh biennial exhibit of utilitarian ceramics. Some of my favorites are below.

"Noche de estrellas," Erika Rocio Martinez Iraundegui
"Medusa," Carlos Vizcaino Guitierrez 
"No somos iguales," Adrian Cruz Ramirez
"Tamul" and "Tulum," Ana Carolina Colin Garcia Guijosa
"Edoné Corset," EDM Fashion (Oscar Vazquez Alanis)
"Bules," La Chicharra and Justina Ricardez
"Ocho parades," Jose Luis Torres Flores
"Plato puzzole," Daniel Alejandro Cruz Vazquez
Works by the jurors were on display inside, including...

"Cactus," Javier Villegas. I'm wishing I had made note of the fish and shell shapes hanging on the wall; they look like they could be ocarinas.
"Las firmas del agua," Gloria Carrasco
"Experimentaciones a través del microscopio," Adriana Dias de Cossio 
(Glaze detail)
That evening, we went up the hill to Chapultepec Castle for an outdoor performance by Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. We hadn't realized it was going to be a Christmas show until we arrived to hear patience-straining syrupy pre-show Christmas music coming from the loudspeakers; but the show itself was beautifully and tastefully done, combining picture-perfect tableaux vivants with live music (choir and band), live animals, and energetic dancing. The show depicted the Annunciation through the Nativity to Epiphany; once the three kings arrived on horseback, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, myrrh, the Christmas theme gave way to abundant gifts of folk dance from across Mexico.

La Virgin, straight out of a picture book. Notice the donkey and cow, followed by the choir and instrumentalists.

King #2
Viva Mexico!

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