It’s back-to-school time! In this lithograph of 1932, Mexican muralist Diego Rivera celebrates the importance of “education for all” as one of the guiding tenets of the Mexican Revolution. Here, an Indigenous woman instructs a range of students from young children to elders in an open field. Behind her, laborers prepare the soil for planting, echoing the teacher’s cultivation of her students’ minds. An armed guard on horseback scans the horizon for trouble; in the 1920s and 1930s, conservative forces murdered rural school teachers to protest the secularization of education. In this quiet scene, Rivera voices his support for the rural education movement and the Indigenous Mexican population.
—Mary Weaver Chapin, Curator of Prints and Drawings
Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886–1957), La Escuela de Aire Libre (Open Air School), 1932. Lithograph on cream wove paper. Gift of Lucienne Bloch and Stephen Dimitroff, 84.31.5