“A Celebration of Mexico” will begin with an opening extravaganza of Mexican dances, presented by the Maru Montero Troupe; and it will close with a performance by the celebrated Cuarteto Latinoamericano, which will feature Mexican composers from the 19th century to the present. It will also host the world premiere of The History of the Mexican Revolution, a one-of-a-kind documentary made over the course of thirty years, whose only existing copy is held in the Library’s Packard campus. In the course of this truly extraordinary event, the Library will display a wide range of ancient and contemporary holdings: codices from the 1500s, early Aztec maps, rare incunabula, sound clips of indigenous music, recordings of Mexico’s greatest 20th century writers, and images by its most famous artists and photographers. The display will represent a rare opportunity for the public and scholars to view pieces that are seldom exhibited.
The proceedings of the event will be broadcast on television, bilingual radio and online on the Library of Congress website, giving “A Celebration of Mexico” the widest reach possible. In order to maximize educational outreach, this site will include webcasts of Library’s curators, speaking about a few of the dozens of items on display.
One in ten people living in the United States of America is, after all, of Mexican origin. One in five Americans is Hispanic. The Library’s “Celebration of Mexico” is meant to honor this segment of our population and provide some important educational opportunities along the way. It is a strong statement of our commitment to the culture of the Americas and the history of its people.
On Mexico's Indigenous & Spanish Legacies
“No he tenido más ideal, que primero, el buscar la verdad y la belleza. Después, tratándose de cosas nuestras, enaltecer los valores de México de todos los tiempos. El hecho de que yo me haya dedicado tanto a los estudios de las culturas antiguas, ha movido a algunos a que equivocadamente piensen que soy negador de los valores hispánicos, y es exactamente lo contrario. Yo soy tan entusiasta por los valores traídos por la cultura de Occidente, como lo soy por los antiguos. Y una de las amarguras constantes, contra las cuales combato con la pluma y con la palabra, siempre que puedo, es esa desarmonía que existe en grupos mexicanos que unos son indigenistas y reprueban lo hispánico, o demasiado hispanistas y reprueban lo indígena. La originalidad de México, mi país, a quien amo tanto, se debe precisamente a que ha fundido estos dos elementos, estas dos venas de cultura, cada una por su parte diferente en sí, pero no contradictorias, que van formando esta nación que no acaba de plasmarse y que será seguramente la que dé una cultura bastante original, bien arraigada en la cultura occidental, pero con modalidades indiscutibles de nuestro pasado pre-hispánico.”
—Ángel María Garibay Kintana, filólogo, historiador (1892-1967)
“I have had no greater aspiration than to seek out truth and beauty. Beyond that, on our own shores, to elevate the eternal values of Mexico. The fact that I have dedicated so much time to studying ancient cultures has moved some to the mistaken conclusion that I oppose Hispanic values, when it is quite the contrary. I am just as much an enthusiast for values brought to us by the culture of the West as I am for those of ancient civilizations. One stubborn, bitter assumption, against which I battle with pen and word whenever I can, is that there is discord among Mexicans, some of whom are pro-Indian and anti-Hispanic, and some of whom are overly Hispanist and anti- Indigenous. The originality of Mexico, my country, which I love so much, is due precisely to the fusion of these two elements, these two veins of culture—each one different, but hardly contradictory—that go on shaping a nation that has yet to reach its full potential, and that will culminate in a highly original culture that is well-rooted in the culture of the West, but whose customs are unmistakable products of our pre-Hispanic past.”
—Ángel María Garibay Kintana, philologist, historian (1892-1967)