Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico

Patron Program Committee

“This exhibition provides the opportunity to discover complex and compelling works of a contemporary photographer from Mexico.” — Kristen Gresh, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Curator of Photographs and curator of the exhibition

What started as a hobby for Graciela Iturbide at age 11 turned into her life’s passion. When her father gave her a camera, he could not have imagined that Graciela would one day become one of Latin America’s most important and influential photographers.

In January, the MFA presents a major exhibition of Iturbide’s works, featuring 35 photographs recently purchased by the MFA, two donated by the artist to the Museum, and a selection of works on loan from her personal collection. “Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico” tells a story of Mexico starting in the 1970s, when Iturbide began her career as a student of Mexican modernist photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Her goal has always been to capture everyday life in her country, raising questions about difficult subjects such as inequality in her homeland. Iturbide’s images may be jarring in their realism, but that is her intention. For Iturbide, Mexico has become a paradox: a country with abundant natural resources yet ravaged by poverty.

“What really makes the exhibition unique is the opportunity to go beyond the photographs to hear Iturbide’s own voice,” says Kristen Gresh, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Curator of Photographs.

“Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico” features a video made by Gresh and a team of MFA staff. The MFA crew spent several days with Iturbide at her studio and home in Mexico City discussing her work and the photographs to be displayed. In recognition of the MFA’s commitment to her work, the artist has provided Museum members and visitors with access to rare, vintage materials.

Patrons at the Fellow level and above are invited to enjoy a closer look at the exhibition at our Connoisseurship Seminar on Tuesday, March 5.