Past Exhibitions

Cabaret Calaveras: Día de los Muertos Figures from Mexico

Calaveras Figures (detail), Pedro Linares Family, Mexico, 1980, papier maché, gift of Charles Campbell

October 30, 2010-January 15, 2011
MMA La Mirada

These fantastic, papier mâché, skeletal figures were made by the Pedro Linares Family in Mexico City around 1980. Linares, one of Mexico’s most celebrated folk artists, was awarded Mexico’s prestigious National Award for Science and Art in 1991. Observed on November 2, Day of the Dead is one of Mexico’s most popular holidays. The celebration focuses on gatherings of friends and family to remember loved ones who have died. Traditions include building private altars with sugar skulls, marigolds and mementos honoring the departed and visiting cemeteries for all night vigils. While the modern holiday combines aspects of the Roman Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day, the roots of Day of the Dead can be traced back thousands of years to Mexico’s indigenous cultures.

Image: Calaveras Figures (detail), Pedro Linares Family, Mexico, circa 1980, papier mâché, gift of Charles Campbell