In the decades following the Constitution of 1917, Mexico became a powerful magnet for foreign artists and intellectuals drawn to its ideal climate, dramatic landscapes, and inexpensive cost of living.

Photographer Edward Weston’s early biographer, Nancy Newhall, described Mexico as his “Paris,” because Weston’s short time there had such a lasting impact on his career. In the mid-1920s a vibrant photography movement in Mexico City centered around Weston and his Italian-born lover, Tina Modotti, and, during the 1930s, on the Surrealist-inspired work of Mexican native Manuel Alvarez Bravo, as well as the American photographer and documentary filmmaker Paul Strand.

“Viva Mexico!” draws heavily on The Lane Collection of photographs on long-term loan at the MFA and features about 35 rare works by Edward Weston taken during the pivotal years of 1923 through 1926. The work covers a wide range of subjects: heroic portrait heads, avant-garde nudes, starkly abstract urban views and landscapes, and images of Mexican toys and folk objects. Also included is a select group of pictures by Weston’s contemporaries–Modotti, Strand, Bravo, and his young son, Brett, who made some of his first serious photographs during his brief visit to Mexico with his father.

Don’t miss the companion print exhibition “Vida y Drama: Modern Mexican Prints” on view in the Clementine Haas Michel Brown Gallery May 30-Nov 2, 2009.

Watch the on the two exhibitions.

If you’re a fan of Edward Weston, don’t miss the chance to see the work of his son, Brett Weston, at the Currier Museum of Art ( in Manchester, NH, October 10–January 3. In the first major exhibition in 30 years to be dedicated to Brett’s prolific body of work, “Brett Weston: Out of the Shadow” concentrates on the photographer’s distinct creative spirit.


Media sponsor is El Planeta.

With support from The Bruce and Laura Monrad Fund for Exhibitions.