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Grant number: GE-256307-17

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National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago, IL 60608-2706)
Cesareo Moreno (Project Director: January 2017 to February 2018)
Liliana Vazquez (Project Director: February 2018 to present)

The Cycle of Life from Mesoamerica: Herencia Sagrada-Día de los Muertos

Planning for a bilingual traveling exhibition about the Dia de los Muertos festival and its history in Mexico and the U.S.

The National Museum of Mexican Art requests a planning grant that will build on its expertise to develop a traveling exhibition that presents Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) art and concepts as part of the cycle of life. The exhibition, The Cycle of Life from Mesoamerica: Herencia Sagrada-Día de los Muertos (Sacred Legacy- Day of the Dead), will examine the universal aspects of loss and human grief, two differing concepts of life after death based on European Christianity and sacred Mesoamerican cosmologies, and the union of these two cultural perspectives/belief systems in Mexico. Importantly, the exhibition will also survey the acculturation of Día de los Muertos (DDM) and the traditional celebrations in the U.S. since artists and cultural centers first introduced them in the 1970s. The traveling exhibition will be supported by a web site offering educational resources that tell the story of the cycle of life that is the essence of DDM.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism; Hispanic American Studies; Latin American History

Exhibitions: Planning

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2017 – 12/31/2018