Today we are going to Muse about Mexico. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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We have just returned from a five-week stay in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. For those of you who have not been there, this is an old colonial city in the mountains north of Mexico City. It dates back to 1540 and has been a significant city in the history of Mexico over the centuries. Today it attracts tourists from around the world and, for the Mexicans, it has become the wedding capital of the country. It is a world heritage site.
Let me tell you a bit about this visit.
Through a friend we rented a house for our stay. This is the street on which we lived.
From this view you have no idea of what is behind the walls. Some are modest; some are palatial. I went to an open house for a property just beyond the parked car one afternoon. From the street I could tell nothing. Inside there were three floors with two full bedroom suites, five other bedrooms, each with a bath, maids quarters, large yard and pool, and of course dens, living room, dining room etc. $3.5 million US. In the states I would guess $8 million.
Our house was more modest, but it had its charms. It was on four levels, if you count the roof. There was an apartment and sauna on the roof but we never used it. The bedroom and den were on the second floor: the guest quarters were downstairs below the main floor.
This was taken from the living room looking back toward the door in the distance which opened to the street.
The living room was compact but well-appointed.
And it came with history.
The guest quarters were downstairs behind the french doors..
And there was a backyard,
which Teddy enjoyed.
From the main floor we had a view across the valley.
In the afternoon we would often have rain. You can see from the above photo how green it was. They have had a lot of rain this year. The thunder and lightning could be intense and Teddy would run up and down the stairs barking. Barking loudly! Drove us nuts.
It was fun to watch the rain come across the valley. The entire town would disappear from view.
The Art Scene
San Miguel de Allende flourished in the 1950’s and 1960’s as an art colony, largely unknown to most of the world. That has changed.
Today there are many galleries and a significant amount of public art.
This was installed while we were there.
This is a local hotel:
At the Instituto de Allende there are significant murals. The Instituto was an art school in the 50’s and it advertised art education to the servicemen after the Korean War. “Come to Mexico and study art on the GI Bill”. A significant number came and they stayed. Today about 10% of the population are US or Canadian expatriates.
This is the courtyard of the Instituto.
In one corner you will find these three murals.
In the courtyard is a wonderful mural telling the history of Mexico from the time of the Spanish Conquest. From the left to the right it starts with the Spaniards and the enslavement if the Indian population.
The large mounted figure behind the column is Ignacio Allende, the first military leader of the war for independence against Spain. He was from San Miguel which at that time was called San Miguel el Grande. He was captured during the revolution and executed but after independence was achieved, the town was renamed San Miguel de Allende.
Immediately to the right of the center column there is a vertical depiction of a Niños Héroes (Boy heroes) diving down wrapped in a flag. This refers to the six cadets who dove to their deaths off the wall of Chapultepec Castle rather than surrender to invading U.S. forces in the 13 September 1847 Battle of Chapultepec. Mexico lost more than half of its territory to the United States in this war, which President Ulysses S. Grant later wrote in his autobiography was the most unjust and shameful war in the country’s history.
The rest of the mural depicts the transformation and modernization of Mexico up to the 1980’s, including the Presidency of Benito Juárez, the defeat of Maximillian I, the reign of Porfirio Diaz and the second revolution begun in 1910.
It is a great mural.
Tourists and Shopping
SMA has become a tourist mecca with restaurants and shops and people. Yes people, especially on the weekend.
So, yes there are crowds. But it is magical.
more to come
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Books by Thomas L. Tribby Available
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Fine Art America, a Pixel.com company
Pixel.com is now offering Throw Pillows, Bath Towels, Hand Towels, Shower Curtains, Duvet Covers and more with reproductions of my artwork. If you want to check them out, here are the steps:
1. Click on this link: thomas-tribby.pixels.com
2. Click on one of the galleries to open up the page of images.
3. Click on an image you like. It will open up a side bar with a number of options.
4. Click on “HOME DECOR“. It will open up a menu of products.
5. Click on the product and it will open up a sizing slide so you can adjust the image.
My work is available as traditional prints on canvas, paper or metal, but it also available on greeting cards, phone covers, tote bags, shower curtains, t-shirts and more. It makes for some very personalized gifts. Below is the link to the site. When you click on an image in the site, a menu of products will appear. I hope you like it.
CLICK ON: thomas-tribby.pixels.com
For information about these or other works of art, please feel free to contact us: