Saturday, April 22, 2023

Field Trip: Ciudad de Mexico

Knowing that the former Mexican Mining Pavilion from the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition (New Orleans, 1884-85) had been returned to Mexico after the fair, I ventured up to Santa María la Ribera to see it. 

When it debuted in New Orleans, the pavilion was immensely popular. Designed by Mexican architect José Ramón Ibarrola, the $200,0000 iron structure was cast at the Union Mills Steel Foundry in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania under the patronage of Andrew Carnegie. Certain ornamental features emulated Spain's Alhambra Palace, and subsequently the pavilion was dubbed "the Mexican Alhambra." It was used in promotions for the Exposition Universelle (Paris, 1889) and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis, 1904) although it never seems to have traveled to either place.

When the pavilion was re-erected in Mexico City, it was originally placed in the Parque Alameda Central. Diego de Rivera included it in the background of his mural Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central (1948). The pavilion had been moved by 1948 to its current location in the center of the Alameda de Santa María la Ribera.

There was a photo shoot happening as I arrived, the model undergoing numerous costume changes over the course of an hour. My favorite for its relationship with the site was her Jarabe Tapatío dress, shown above.

Image above: Kiosko Morisco (Mexican Pavilion). Santa María la Ribera, Ciudad de Mexico, as photographed 4.19.2023 by K. Rylance.


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