More Information

Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna’s Photographs of the Mexican Revolution

Sep 13, 2016
8:30 am — 4:30 pm
Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery
Open to Public
September 13, 2016 8:30 am

The Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery at St. Johns University is pleased to announce the exhibition:

Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna’s Photographs of the Mexican Revolution

Reception: Thursday, September 22, 2016, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

On Exhibit: September 12 - November 18, 2016

Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna’s Photographs of the Mexican Revolution looks back more than 100 years to a vision of the Mexican Revolution from the nearly unknown photographer, Sabino Osuna.

The Mexican Revolution was a major armed struggle that started in 1910 with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime dictator Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution is generally considered to have lasted until 1920, although the country continued to have sporadic outbreaks of warfare well into the 1920s. The Revolution led to the creation of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and the Partido Nacional Revolucionario (National Revolutionary Party), which was later renamed the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI), in 1929. Under a variety of leaders, the PRI held power until the general election of 2000.

The Mexican Revolution offered a nascent generation of photographers the opportunity to document a moment of drama, celebration, and tragedy. Advances in technology such as the regular use of halftones in popular periodicals and the ability to transmit images phototelegraphically contributed to an increased use of photography to tell the story of revolution. Both sides in the conflict relied on the visual exposure that photojournalism could provide. Gun and camera were intimately connected, and the photographers were aware that they were recording history.

Among the hundreds of photographers who appeared on the scene was Sabino Osuna, a skilled portrait photographer who lived in Mexico City and could not ignore the conflict that was ripping open its core. The rules of war allowed him to be a noncombatant and not a target and to get close to the action. The images he produced cover primarily the early years of the Revolution, and particularly the Decena Trágica, the ten days in February 1913 when the Madero government was overthrown and the old order restored briefly.

The 56 images in the exhibition have been selected from the Osuna Collection of 427 glass negatives that are held in the University of California Riverside Libraries Special Collections and Archives.

The exhibition is organized by the University of California Riverside ARTSblock and curated by Tyler Stallings, artistic director, Culver Center of the Arts; director, Sweeney Art Gallery; Ronald H. Chilcote Professor of Economics Emeritus and Professor of Political Science Emeritus, UC Riverside; and managing editor, Latin American Perspectives.

A 118-page book including several essays that accompanies the exhibition will be available for purchase. 

Please visit the Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery web page for more information. You can also find campus directions on our website. 

Free parking is available for visitors at Gate 1, located on Utopia Parkway. All events are free of charge and accessible to the disabled.