National Museum of Mexico: Creating an Identity

The colonization of Mexico led to the regional mixing of Mexican and European art that was being produced in Latin America. This was established from the Spanish teaching the natives their language and how to make art that could be transferred back to Europe as ways to “civilize” the Mexican inhabitants. Mexico was officially granted independence in 1821, which left the Mexican natives forced to confront their culture’s national identity and how they would go about displaying their past. The National Mexican Museum was established in 1825, and they were able to show the wonders of previous Mexican civilizations and the impact of the Spanish conquest. I will explore how they used this space to create and showcase their national identity. The process of getting the museum to a point where it was more than just a storage room for ancient artifacts was long and included many economic, ethnographic, and collecting factors. I will explore  how the National Mexican Museum was able to craft a national identity for Mexico and how the impact of past civilizations and the colonization of the Spanish influenced their development.