Resurrecting Tenochtitlan: Imagining the Aztec Capital in Modern Mexico City (Hardcover)

Resurrecting Tenochtitlan: Imagining the Aztec Capital in Modern Mexico City By Delia Cosentino, Adriana Zavala Cover Image

Resurrecting Tenochtitlan: Imagining the Aztec Capital in Modern Mexico City (Hardcover)

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Honorable Mention, ALAA-Arvey Foundation Book Award, Association of Latin American Art
Finalist, 2024 Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, College Art Association


How Mexican artists and intellectuals created a new identity for modern Mexico City through its ties to Aztec Tenochtitlan.

After archaeologists rediscovered a corner of the Templo Mayor in 1914, artists, intellectuals, and government officials attempted to revive Tenochtitlan as an instrument for reassessing Mexican national identity in the wake of the Revolution of 1910. What followed was a conceptual excavation of the original Mexica capital in relation to the transforming urban landscape of modern Mexico City.

Revolutionary-era scholars took a renewed interest in sixteenth century maps as they recognized an intersection between Tenochtitlan and the foundation of a Spanish colonial settlement directly over it. Meanwhile, Mexico City developed with modern roads and expanded civic areas as agents of nationalism promoted concepts like indigenismo, the embrace of Indigenous cultural expressions. The promotion of artworks and new architectural projects such as Diego Rivera’s Anahuacalli Museum helped to make real the notion of a modern Tenochtitlan. Employing archival materials, newspaper reports, and art criticism from 1914 to 1964, Resurrecting Tenochtitlan connects art history with urban studies to reveal the construction of a complex physical and cultural layout for Mexico’s modern capital.

Delia Cosentino is an associate professor of Latin American art history at DePaul University. She is the author of Las joyas de Zinacantepec: Arte colonial en el Monasterio de San Miguel and was a guest editor for Artl@s Bulletin’s thematic volume “Cartographic Styles and Discourse.”

Adriana Zavala is an associate professor of the history of art and architecture and race, colonialism, and diaspora studies at Tufts University. She is the author of Becoming Modern, Becoming Tradition: Women, Gender, and Representation in Mexican Art.

Product Details ISBN: 9781477326992
ISBN-10: 1477326995
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication Date: May 16th, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English
Like all important urban centers, Mexico City is composed of layers of history, culture, architecture, and urban and demographic changes, and its historical foundation still plays an important role in Mexico’s political and social life. This book aims to show how these layers and foundational myths affect modern understandings of the city...Deftly weaving together archival documents and maps, graphic ideations of the city’s past and present, and historical accounts, [Resurrecting Tenochtitlan] presents [Mexico City's] complexity as a space of contestation in which different actors vie to articulate their ideological positions within the rapidly changing environment of this historically grounded city.
— CHOICE