Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Birth of a Collection

This May, the book entitled Marte R. Gómez and Diego Rivera: The History of a Collection, which is a catalogue of the museum’s collection and wonderful testimony of the life of the art collector and that of the artist, will be launched in Guanajuato.


In the early 1920s, the promotion of education—backed by the Muralist Movement—reached the highest levels ever recorded in Mexican history. Artists like Diego Rivera, Gerardo Murillo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Carlos Mérida, José Clemente Orozco, Gabriel Fernández Ledesma, and Fermín Revueltas became the leading educators and cultural promoters as well as the ambassadors and main critics of this new language of the visual arts.

It was in this context that Gómez took the stage. Born in Reynosa, Tamaulipas on July 4, 1896, Marte R. Gómez played a key role in the historical transformation of contemporary Mexico through his contributions to agrarian and agricultural politics. The close relationship that he shared with Diego Rivera was part of the reason he became an art collector. Although he collected pieces by other artists, his favorite was always Rivera.

Accumulating his works was no longer a matter of circumstance, because in his mind, it all made sense: he would build his own collection, procure everything he could of the painter's work, and, through these works, spread knowledge of Mexico’s history.

Today, the Marte R. Gómez Collection is housed in the Diego Rivera Museum, the home in which Diego Rivera was born, in the city of Guanajuato.

María Elena Durán Payán and Ana María Rodríguez Pérez. Marte R. Gómez: historia de una colección. Trans. Paige Mitchell. Guanajuato, Mexico: Ediciones La Rana, 2011.