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Clara Porset in Mid Twentieth-Century Mexico: The Politics of Designing, Producing, and Consuming Revolutionary Nationalist Modernity

  • Randal Sheppard (a1)
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In 2006, Mexico City's Museo Franz Meyer held an exhibition titled Creating a Modern Mexico, celebrating the furniture designs of Clara Porset y Dumas. This exhibition and a growing literature on her work by design historians during the first decades of the twenty-first century have helped establish Porset as the highest-profile pioneer of industrial and interior design in twentieth-century Mexico.

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1. Bermúdez, Jorge R., Clara Porset. Diseño y cultura (Havana: Letras Cubanas, 2005); Meyer, Museo Franz, ed., Inventando un México moderno. El diseño de Clara Porset (Mexico City: Turner, 2006); Flores, Oscar Salinas, “Clara Porset Dumas. Raíces del diseño,” in De la Escuela de Verano al Centro de Enseñanza para Extranjeros. Memorias del 75 aniversario, Castro, Miguel Ángel, ed. (Mexico City: UNAM, 1999); Flores, Oscar Salinas, Clara Porset. Una vida inquieta, una obra sin igual (Mexico City: UNAM, 2001).

2. Hatzky, Christine, Julio Antonio Mella (1903–1929). Una biografía (Santiago de Cuba, Editorial Oriente, 2008), 30.

3. Banner, Lois W., “AHA Roundtable Historians and Biography: Biography as History,” American Historical Review 114:3 (June 2009): 584.

4. Banner, “AHA Roundtable,” 580; Geertz, Clifford, The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays (New York, Basic Books, 1973), 330

5. Bunker, Steven, “First Approaches toward Understanding Mexico City's Culture of Consumption,” Journal of Urban History 36:1 (January 2010): 111115.

6. Mirkin, Dina Comisarenco et al., Vida y diseño en México, siglo XX (Mexico City: Fomento Cultural Banamex, 2007); Martínez, Yolanda Bojórquez, Modernización y nacionalismo de la aquitectura Mexicana en cinco voces: 1925–1980 (Guadalajara: ITESO, 2011); Burian, Edward R., ed., Modernity and the Architecture of Mexico (Austin: University of Texas Press,1997); Castañeda, Luis, “Pre-Columbian Skins, Developmentalist Souls: The Architect as Politician,” in Latin American Modern Architectures: Ambiguous Territories, Real, Patricio del and Gyger, Helen, eds. (New York: Routledge, 2013), 93114; de Anda Alanís, Enrique X., Una mirada a la arquitectura mexicana del siglo XX (Diez ensayos) (Mexico City: Conaculta, 2005); Cristina López Uribe, “‘Reflections of the ‘Colonial’: Between Mexico and Californiano,” in Latin American Modern Architectures, Del Real and Gyger, eds.; Olsen, Patrice Elizabeth, Artifacts of Revolution: Architecture, Society, and Politics in Mexico City, 1920–1940 (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), 215234.

7. Alejandro Hernández, “La decoración indecorosa,” in Vida y diseño en México, siglo XX, Comisarenco et al., eds., 231–232; Jones, Robin D., “‘Thinking’ the Domestic Interior in Postcolonial South Asia: The Home of Geoffrey Bawa in Sri Lanka, 1960 to 1998,” Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture 3:3 (November 2012): 205.

8. Canel, Eva, Lo que vi en Cuba (Havana: La Universal, 1916), 140144; Salinas Flores, Clara Porset, 14–15; Pérez, Louis A. Jr., On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, & Culture (New York: Harper Collins, 1999), 405411.

9. Oscar Flores, Flores and Flores, Ligia Fernández, “Los primeros años: 1900–1950. Los inicios de la diffusion y docencia del arte virreinal. Apendice documental,” in 90 años de cultura: Centro de Enseñanza para Extranjeros, Prieto, José Luis Palacio, ed. (Mexico City: CEPE, 2012), 209.

10. Clara Porset, “Mallet Stevens, artista de hoy y de mañana,” Social (January 1930), 76–77; Clara Porset, “Muebles de metal,” Social (September 1930), 68–69; Clara Porset, “Resumen de las exposiciones de arte decorativo moderno en 1930,” Social (February 1931), 80–81; Clara Porset, “Una casa según la fórmula nueva,” Social (March 1931), 36, 72; Clara Porset, “El concepto actual de la decoración moderna,” Social (June 1931), 38–39, 81; Clara Porset, “El mueble de ahora,” Social (January 1932), 68–69, 79; Porset, Clara, “Walter Gropius, pionero de las nuevas tendencias,” Social (March 1932), 66, 7273.

11. For an edited selection of Porset's contributions to Social, including her 1931 lecture “La decoración interior contemporánea. Su adaptación en Cuba,” see Bermúdez, Clara Porset. Diseño y cultura.

12. Moreno, Ricardo Quiza, “New Knowledge for New Times: The Sociedad del Folklore Cubano during the ‘Critical Decade’ (1923–1930),” in, State of Ambiguity: Civic Life and Culture in Cuba's First Republic, Palmer, Steven, Piqueras, José Antonio, and Cobos, Amparo Sánchez, eds. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014), 270271; Díaz, Ana Súarez, “Cuba: vanguardia intelectual y exilio político (1930–1936),” Caliban: Revista Cubana de Pensamiento e Historia 9 (October 2010 – March 2011), http://www.revistacaliban.cu/articulo.php?numero=9&article_id=98, accessed January 24, 2018.

13. Goebel, Michael, Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third-World Nationalism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 127136.

14. Porset was mentioned as an accompanying friend and member of the Lyceum by María Teresa Freyre de Andrade, a niece of opposition congressman Gonzálo Freyre de Andrade. Andrade and his two brothers had been assassinated by the regime the previous month. “Cubans Take Refuge, Fear Fresh Violence,” Lima News, October 8, 1932, 8; “El Gbno. Cubano afronta todo un problema en el asunto de los políticos ‘asilados,’” La Prensa, October 8, 1932, 1.

15. Carr, Barry, “Pioneering Transnational Solidarity in the Americas: The Movement in Support of Augusto C. Sandino, 1927–1934,” Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research 20:2 (2014): 141152; Gronbeck-Tedesco, John, Cuba, the United States, and Cultures of the Transnational Left, 1930–1975 (New York: Cambridge, 2015); Roorda, Eric Paul, The Dictator Next Door: The Good Neighbor Policy and the Trujillo Regime in the Dominican Republic, 1930–1945 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998); Schaffer, Kirwin, “Tropical Libertarians: Anarchist Movements and Networks in the Caribbean, Southern United States, and Mexico,” in Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870–1940, der Walt, Lucien Van and Hirsch, Steven, eds. (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 273320; Díaz, Ana Suárez, Escapé de Cuba: el exilio neoyorquino de Pablo de la Torriente-Brau (Marzo 1935 –agosto 1936) (Havana: Instituto Cubano del Libro Ciencias Sociales, 2008); Súarez Díaz, “Cuba: Vanguardia intelectual.”

16. See Gronbeck-Tedesco, Cuba, the United States.

17. Carr, Barry, “‘Across Seas and Borders’: Charting the Webs of Radical Internationalism in the Circum-Caribbean,” in Exile and the Politics of Exclusion in the Americas, Roniger, Luis, Green, James N., and Yankelevich, Pablo, eds. (Portland, OR: Sussex, 2012), 217240; Carr, “Pioneering Transnational Solidarity,” 144–145.

18. Clara Porset to Sarah Méndez Capote, November 23, 1932, Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí, CM Méndez.

19. Quiza Moreno, New Knowledge for New Times, 274.

20. Ellen Starr Brinton to Esther Crooks, August 15, 1933, Swarthmore Peace Archives [hereafter SPA], DG: 043 WILPF, Box 17, Committee on the Americas: Correspondence of Brainerd with persons re: foreign affairs: C–G, 1934–1937.

21. Ellen Starr Brinton to Katherine Terrell, February 28, 1935, and Katherine Terrell to Ellen Starr Brinton, March 13, 1935, SPA, DG: 051, Ellen Starr Brinton Papers, box 1, Cuba: Correspondence with H. Portell Vila, 1935, and others, 1933; Herminio Portell Vilá to Ellen Starr Brinton, September 30, 1936, SPA, DG: 051 ,WILPF, box 1, Cuba: Correspondence with H. Portell Vilá, 1936–1937.

22. Starr Brinton to Terrell, February 28, 1935, SPA, DG: 051, Ellen Starr Brinton Papers, box 1, Cuba: Correspondence with H. Portell Vila, 1935, and others, 1933.

23. As Michael Goebel has further noted, anticolonialism and internationalism were central elements of the Communist movement of the 1920s, promoted by the Comintern through an idiom Goebel describes as “transnational solidarity.” Goebel, “Geopolitics, Transnational Solidarity or Diaspora Nationalism? The Global Career of M. N. Roy, 1915–1930,” European Review of History 21:4 (September-October 2014): 485.

24. Goebel, Anti-Imperial Metropolis, 13.

25. This tolerance, if not closeness, to the left marked a significant shift from the repression of (particularly) the Communist left by the Mexican state during the preceding Maximato (1930-34). Carr, Barry, Marxism and Communism in Twentieth-Century Mexico (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992), 4748; Gilly, Adolfo, El cardenismo, una utopía mexicana (Mexico City: Ediciones Era, 2001), 322323.

26. Trillo, Mauricio Tenorio, “The Cosmopolitan Mexican Summer, 1920–1949,” Latin American Research Review 32:3 (1997): 224225.

27. López, Rick, Crafting Mexico: Intellectuals, Artisans, and the State after the Revolution (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), 1920.

28. Trillo, Mauricio Tenorio, I Speak of the City: Mexico City at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2012), 166.

29. Clara Porset to Muriel Rukeyser, October 25, 1939, New York Public Library, Berg Collection of English and American Literature, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations, Muriel Rukeyser Papers 1920–1976, manuscript box.

30. This group, with which Porset had also been involved during her first exile in the United States, grew out of sympathetic US historian Hubert Herring's engagement with postrevolutionary Mexico during the 1920s. The committee's annual Mexican seminar was held from 1926 to 1941. With over 1500 participants by 1939, the seminar aimed to promote greater cultural and intellectual understanding and cross-fertilization between the United States and Mexico. “Tenth Seminar in Mexico: Program,” Three Americas 1:5 (October 1935), 50; Delpar, Helen, The Enormous Vogue of Things Mexican: Cultural Relations between the United States and Mexico, 1920–1935 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1992), 7374; López, Crafting Mexico 106.

31. Augier, Ángel, Rafael Alberti en Cuba (Cadiz: Diputación de Cádiz, 2000), 55; Fernández Montes, Jorge Octavio, “Voces y llamamientos de la cultura por la paz,” Política y Cultura 41 (January 2014): 15.

32. Fernández Montes, “Voces y llamamientos,” 15.

33. Flores, Flores and Flores, Fernández, “Los primeros años,” 209; Universidad Obrera de México, Universidad Obrera de México (Mexico City: Universidad Obrera de México, 1939), 56.

34. Palma, Francisco Reyes, “La LEAR y su revista de frente cultural,” Frente a Frente, 1934–1938 (Mexico City: Centro de Estudios del Movimiento Obrero y Socialista, 1994), 56.

35. Clara Porset to Waldo Frank, May 10, 1937, and Clara Porset to Waldo Frank, May 27, 1937, University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center, Waldo Frank Papers, box 22, folder 1262.

36. Porset to Frank, May 10, 1937, and Porset to Frank, July 28, 1937, University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center, Waldo Frank Papers, Box 22, Folder 1262.

37. During the LEAR's January 1938 conference, for example, architects Álvaro Aburto, Ricardo Rivas, Luis Cuevas Barrena and Raúl Cacho supported a functionalist embrace of new technologies and materials in architecture, particularly in a country with such pressing social needs as Mexico. There was no room to get carried away with “sentimentalist” concerns with aesthetics to the detriment of technical considerations, nor to waste public money on superfluous decoration. Salguero, Ramón Vargas, “Las reivindicaciones históricas en el funcionalismo socialista,” in Apuntes para la historia y crítica de la arquitectura mexicana del siglo XX: 1900–1980, Escudero, Alexandrina, ed., Vol. 1 (Mexico City: Secretaría de Educación Pública, 1982), 108.

38. Flores Flores and Fernández Flores, “Los primeros años,” 209; Porset to Frank, July 28, 1937.

39. Orozco, Leticia López, “Entre el pincel, la línea y la acción,” in Xavier Guerrero [1896–1974], De piedra completa, Sánchez Soler, María Monserrat and Coronel Rivera, Juan Rafael, eds. (Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 2012), 115117; Díaz Pérez, Olivia C., “La representación del muralismo y la Revolución Mexicana en la obra de los escritores del exilio de habla alemán en México,” in La Revolución mexicana en la literatura y el cine, Díaz Pérez, Olivia C., Gräfe, Florian, and Schmidt-Welle, Friedhelm, eds. (Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2010), 116.

40. Rick López, Crafting Mexico, 15–16.

41. Regarding the historical evolution that led to X replacing J in Mexico, see Guzmán, Ignacio and Gornés, Luis Núñez, eds., La equis de México. Historia de un debate ortográfico, (Mexico City: Universidad Iberoamericana, 2017); Juan Rafael Coronel Rivera, “De piedra completa,” in De piedra completa, Sánchez Soler et al., eds., 19–23.

42. Siqueiros, David Alfaro, Art and Revolution (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1975), 112.

43. Clara Porset to Muriel Rukeyser, March 24, 1941, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Muriel Rukeyser Papers, 1844–1986, box I:10, folder 18; Sánchez Soler and Coronel Rivera, De piedra completa, 27–28.

44. Porset to Frank, February 16, 1939, University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center, Waldo Frank Papers, box 22, folder 1262.

45. Rick López, Crafting Mexico, 121.

46. Carr, Barry, “The Fate of the Vanguard under a Revolutionary State: Marxism's Contribution to the Construction of the Great Arch,” in Everyday Forms of State Formation: Revolution and the Negotiation of Rule in Modern Mexico, Joseph, Gilbert M. and Nugent, Daniel, eds. (Durham: Duke University Press, 1994), 333338.

47. Alejandro Hernández, “La decoración indecorosa,” 234; Olsen, Artifacts of Revolution, 5–11.

48. Sánchez, Horacio, La vivienda y la Ciudad de México. Génesis de la tipología moderna (Xochimilco: UAM, 2006), 110; Vargas Salguero, “Las reivindicaciones históricas,” 108.

49. For a description of what he calls the ‘aesthetization’ of cement and reinforced concrete, see Gallo, Ruben, Mexican Modernity: The Avant-Garde and the Technological Revolution (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005), 171172.

50. Eggener, Keith, Luis Barragán's Gardens of El Pedregal (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), 1011; Olsen, Artifacts of Revolution, 3.

51. Castañeda, Luis M., Spectacular Mexico: Design, Propaganda, and the 1968 Olympics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014), xvi.

52. Edward R. Burian, “Mexico, Modernity, and Architecture: An Interview with Alberto Pérez-Gómez,” in Modernity and the Architecture of Mexico, Burian, ed., 29; Juan Rafael Coronel Rivera, “Con la turquesa en la memoria: lo mexicano del diseño,” in Vida y Diseño en México, Siglo XX, Comisarenco Mirkin et al., 186; Louis Noelle Merles, “The Architecture and Urbanism of Mario Pani: Creativity and Compromise,” in Modernity and the Architecture of Mexico, Burian, ed., 184; Leticia Torres, “La integración plástica. Confluencias y divergencias en los discursos del arte en México,” ICAA Documents Project, Working Papers 2 (May 2008), 10–11.

53. Porset, Clara and McCoy, Esther, “Chairs by Clara Porset,” Arts & Architecture 68:7 (July 1951): 34.

54. Porset, Clara, “El arte en la vida diaria,” in El Arte en la Vida Diaria. Exposición de objetos de buen diseño hechos en México, Exhibition Cat. (Mexico City: INBA, Departamento de Arquitectura, 1952), 27.

55. Porset, Clara, “El Centro Urbano ‘Presidente Alemán’ y el espacio interior para vivir,” Arquitectura 32 (October 1950), 117.

56. Montfort, Ricardo Pérez, Avatares del nacionalismo (Mexico City: CIESAS, 2000), 40.

57. Porset, “El arte en la vida diaria,” 45.

58. Clara Porset to José Antonio Portuondo, November 7, 1948, Instituto de Literatura y Lingüistica, Havana, Fondo José Antonio Portuondo. See also Oscar Salinas Flores, “Xavier Guerrero. Diseñador,” in De piedra completa, Sánchez Soler et al., eds., 145–167.

59. Clara Porset, “El Centro Urbano ‘Presidente Alemán’,” 120.

60. Joseph, Gilbert M., Rubenstein, Anne, and Zolov, Eric, “Assembling the Fragments: Writing a Cultural History of Mexico Since 1940,” in Fragments of a Golden Age: The Politics of Culture in Mexico Since 1940, Joseph, Gilbert et al., eds. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001), 11.

61. “El Seguro Social se afirma en la confianza del pueblo,” Hoy 626, February 19, 1949, 40–42; “Alemán inaugura el nuevo conservatorio,” Hoy 631, March 26, 1949, 48–49; “Educación conquista otra meta,” Hoy 668, December 10, 1949, 18–21; “Mensaje de belleza al pueblo,” Hoy 810, August 30, 1952, 44–45, 66; “La burocracia está de Plácemes,” Mañana 315, September 10, 1949, 162, 164; Mraz, John, Looking for Mexico: Modern Visual Culture and National Identity (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009), 156157.

62. Carr, Marxism and Communism, 153.

63. Porset, Clara, “Arte e industria,” Arquitectura 29 (October 1949): 227.

64. Porset, “Arte e industria,”227.

65. Porset, Clara, “El diseño en México,” in El Arte en la Vida Diaria, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 14.

66. Cooke, Catherine, “Socialist Realist Architecture: Theory and Practice,” in Art of the Soviets: Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in a One-Party State, 1917–1992, Bown, Matthew Cullerne and Taylor, Brandon, eds. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993), 8687.

67. Porset's scrapbooks feature a selection of Mexican adaptations of these principles, such as an undated newspaper article outlining O'Gorman's rejection of functionalism in favor of “realism” in architecture. Guerrero was further a collaborator in the publication Arte Público, published by the Frente Nacional de Artes Públicas, which dedicated its first issue in October 1952 to the construction of the new Ciudad Universitaria. The publication denounced “formalism” in the work of artists including Carlos Mérida and Rufino Tamayo, and established as the second of its three goals, published on the front page, “to encourage the progression of this MEXICAN MOVEMENT OF SOCIAL ART, a movement national and popular in essence [and] of a realist intention in form, that today is the target of a reactionary political-aesthetic offensive, to a more advanced stage of the corresponding historical age, that is, to the stage of SOCIALIST REALISM in Mexico.” Arte Público 1:1 (November 15, 1952): 1; Castillo, Greg, Cold War on the Home Front: The Soft Power of Midcentury Design (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), 49.

68. Clara Porset to Emilia Romero, February 23, 1945, Biblioteca Nacional de México, Colecciones Especiales; Report from J. Edgar Hoover to Adolf A. Berle Jr, September 5, 1944, US National Archives, General Records of the Department of State, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1940–1944, file 812.00 B/9-544, RG 59.

69. Porset's experiences on this trip are described in an exchange of letters with Guerrero, which is held at the Porset archive. Clara Porset to Xavier Guerrero, June to August 1955, UNAM, Facultad de Arquitectura, Centro de Investigaciónes de Diseño Industrial, Archivo Clara Porset.

70. Castillo, Cold War on the Home Front, 101–103; Rubin, Eli, “The Form of Socialism without Ornament: Consumption, Ideology, and the Fall and Rise of Modernist Design in the German Democratic Republic,” Journal of Design History 19:2 (Summer 2006): 158.

71. Clara Porset, “Diseño viviente,” Espacios 15, May 1953.

72. “Diseño viviente. Objeto humanista” (draft), Redacciones: Arte en la Vida Diaria 1952, UNAM, Facultad de Arquitectura, Centro de Investigaciónes de Diseño Industrial, Archivo Clara Porset.

73. This “University City” provided the most spectacular collective display of postrevolutionary Mexican plastic integration, featuring buildings by architects such as Pani and O'Gorman and incorporating exterior murals and sculptures by many of Mexico's most important artists, such as Rivera, Siqueiros and O'Gorman. de Anda Alanís, Enrique X., Hazaña y memoria: la Ciudad Universitaria del Pedregal (Mexico City: UNAM, 2013); Celia Ester Arredondo Zambrano, “Modernity in Mexico: The Case of the Ciudad Universitaria,” in Modernity and the Architecture of Mexico, Burian, ed., 91–106.

74. Clara Porset, “El diseño en México,” 14; Fraser, Valerie, Building the New World: Studies in the Modern Architecture of Latin America, 1930–1960 (London: Verso, 2000), 6284.

75. Porset, “El diseño en México,” 17.

76. Porset, “El diseño en México,” 17.

77. López, Crafting Mexico, 61.

78. Delpar, The Enormous Vogue of Things Mexican,135–136; López, Crafting Mexico, 79–80.

79. A pioneer of the postrevolutionary aesthetic reorientation of Mexican culture, Dr Atl (Gerardo Murillo), indeed decried contemporary efforts to evolve popular arts into modern forms in the 1921exhibition's expanded catalogue. López, Crafting Mexico, 92.

80. Porset, Clara, “¿Qué es el diseño?Arquitectura 28 (July 1949): 173.

81. Pérez-Méndez, Alfonso and Aptilon, Alejandro, Las Casas del Pedregal, 1947–1968 (Mexico City: Editorial Gustavo Gil, 2007), 1415; William J. R. Curtis, “The General and the Local: Enrique del Moral's Own House, Calle Francisco Ramírez 5, Mexico City, 1948,” in Modernity and the Architecture of Mexico, Burian, ed., 115–117; Hernández, “La decoración indecorosa,” 236.

82. Ana Elena Mallet, “Las alcances del diseño. La divulgación del trabajo de Clara Porset,” in Inventando un museo moderno, Museo Franz Meyer, ed., 63–65; Ana Elena Mallet, “Pioneros del gusto,” in Vida y diseño en México, siglo XX, Comisarenco Mirkin et al., 362.

83. Eric Zolov, “Discovering a Land ‘Mysterious and Obvious’: The Renarrativizing of Postrevolutionary Mexico,” in Fragments of a Golden Age, Joseph et al., eds., 234–235.

84. Mary Roche, “Furniture Depicts Different Mexico,” New York Times, February, 4, 1947, 29.

85. Mary Roche, “Furniture Depicts Different Mexico,” 29.

86. Mary Roche, “Furniture Depicts Different Mexico,” 29.

87. During the early 1950s, California-based architectural critic Esther McCoy did attempt without success to distribute Porset's furniture in California. “Mexicana Overlooked by the Tourists,” Interiors 106:4 (November 1946): 90–93; Roche, “Furniture Depicts Different Mexico,” 29; Porset and McCoy, “Chairs by Clara Porset,” 34–35; Esther McCoy, “You'll Sit Low in Mexico!” Los Angeles Times Home Magazine, October 19, 1952, 10; Clara Porset, “Art in Industry,” Los Angeles Times Home Magazine, October 19, 1952, 15; Esther McCoy, “Clara Porset's Proving Ground,” Los Angeles Times Home Magazine, January 24, 1954, 19; “Office Interiors by Clara Porset,” Arts & Architecture 71:5 (May 1954): 25.

88. Mallet, “Los alcances del diseño,” 83–84; Agnoldomenico Pico, ed., Undicesima Triennale: Milano 1957 (Milan: Stampa, 1957), 238.

89. de Fusco, Renato, Historia del diseño (Barcelona: Santa & Cole, 2005).

90. Ballent, Anahí, “La publicidad de los ámbitos de la vida privada. Representaciones de la modernización del hogar en la prensa de los años cuarenta y cincuenta en México,” Alteridades 6:11 (1996), 5374.

91. Ballent, “La publicidad de los ámbitos de la vida privada,” 61.

92. Moreno, Julio, Yankee, Don't Go Home! Mexican Nationalism, American Business Culture, and the Shaping of Modern Mexico, 1920–1950 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), 38.

93. Moreno, Yankee, Don't Go Home!, 37.

94. Bunker, Steven, Creating Mexican Consumer Culture in the Age of Porfirio Díaz (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2012), 45; Niblo, Stephen R., Mexico in the 1940s: Modernity, Politics, and Corruption (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1999), 3334.

95. Barry Carr, Marxism and Communism, 153; Moreno, Yankee, Don't Go Home!, 3–6.

96. Moreno, Yankee, Don't Go Home!, 29.

97. Ballent, “La publicidad de los ámbitos de la vida privada,” 55.

98. Ballent, “La publicidad de los ámbitos de la vida privada,” 58.

99. For example, in the early 1960s, the Mexican government's Endowment for the Development of Arts and Crafts did encourage the participation of artisans from towns such as Olinalá, Guerrero, and Uruapán, Michoacán, in the Feria del Hogar, where they could make contact with urban wholesalers, consumers, collectors, and exporters. López, Crafting Mexico, 186–187; Piétri-Lévy, Anne-Lise, L'Objet dénaturé. Art populaire, fonction sociale et orientation comerciale (Toulouse: Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 1991), 193.

100. Ballent, “La publicidad de los ámbitos de la vida privada,” 56; Mallet, “Pioneros del gusto,” 325–400; Mallet, Ana Elena, La Bauhaus y el México moderno. El diseño de Van Beuren (Mexico City: Arquine, 2014), 7689.

101. Clara Porset, “Arte e industria,” 226.

102. Porset, “El diseño en México,” 15.

103. de Anda Alanís, Enrique X., Vivienda colectiva de la modernidad en México. Los multifamiliares durante el periodo presidencial de Miguel Alemán (1946–1952) (Mexico City: UNAM, 2008), 242246; Fraser, Building the New World, 56–61; Hernández, “La decoración indecorosa,” 267.

104. De Anda Alanís, Vivienda colectiva, 261; Castillo, Cold War on the Home Front, 9–10; Mullin, John Robert, “City Planning in Frankfurt, Germany, 1925–1932: A Study in Practical Utopianism,” Journal of Urban History 4:1 (November 1977): 413.

105. Clara Porset, “El Centro Urbano ‘Presidente Alemán’,” 118.

106. Porset, Clara, “Diseño viviente. Hacia una expresión propia en el mueble,” Espacios 16 (July 1953).

107. Clara Porset, “Diseño viviente” (July 1953).

108. “La forma de las cosas y la industria,” Presentation at INBA as part of the conference 50 Años de Realizaciones de la Plástica en México, November 3, 1950, Redacciones: Arte en la Vida Diaria 1952, Redacciones: Arte en la Vida Diaria 1952, UNAM, Facultad de Arquitectura, Centro de Investigaciónes de Diseño Industrial, Archivo Clara Porset.

109. De Anda Alanís, Vivienda colectiva, 291.

110. Porset, “Diseño viviente.”

111. Porset, “Diseño viviente.”

112. Pérez-Méndez and Aptilon, Las casas del Pedregal, 1947–1968, 12–13.

113. Eggener, Luis Barragán's Gardens of El Pedregal, 19; Pérez-Méndez and Aptilon, 13; Treib, Marc, “A Setting for Solitude: The Landscape of Luis Barragán,” in Luis Barragán: The Quiet Revolution, Zanco, Federica, ed. (Milan: Skira, 2001), 125.

114. Barragán's plans in particular echoed Rivera's call for protection of the landscape and the creation of an “aesthetic council” that would oversee all architectural design, although this latter element was ultimately abandoned. Eggener, Luis Barragán's Gardens of El Pedregal, 136–138.

115. Pérez-Méndez and Aptilon, Las casas del Pedregal, 1947–1968, 14–15.

116. Pérez-Méndez and Aptilon, Las casas del Pedregal, 1947–1968, 14–15.

117. Canclini, Nestor García, “El consumo cultural y su estudio en México: una propuesta teoórica,” in El consumo cultural en México, Canclini, García, ed., (Mexico City: Conaculta, 1993), 3536.

118. Eggener, Luis Barragán's Gardens of El Pedregal 47–48.

119. Pérez-Méndez and Aptilon, Las casas del Pedregal, 67–69.

120. Clara Porset, “El arte en la vida diaria,” Espacios 10, 1952.

121. Eggener, Luis Barragán's Gardens of El Pedregal, 58.

122. “Quality and Convenience in Design,” Welcome Magazine, January 1957.

123. Sheppard, Randal, A Persistent Revolution: History, Nationalism, and Politics in Mexico since 1968 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2016), 2.

124. Eggener, Luis Barragán's Gardens of El Pedregal, 58.

125. Pérez-Méndez and Aptilon, Las casas del Pedregal, 205.

126. Batalla, Guillermo Bonfil, México profundo. Una civilización negada (Mexico City: Editorial Grijalbo, 1990), 178; Carmona, Fernando, Montaño, Guillermo, Carrión, Jorge and Aguilar M., Alonso, eds., El milagro mexicano (Mexico City: Editorial Nuevo Tiempo, 1970), 107; Krauze, Enrique, La presidencia imperial, ascenso y caída del sistema político mexicano (1940–1960) (Mexico City: Tusquets, 1997), 62; Niblo, 302.

127. Coffey, Mary K., How a Revolutionary Art became Official Culture: Murals, Museums, and the Mexican State (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012), 1516.

128. Eder, Rita, “The Portraits of Diego Rivera,” in Diego Rivera: A Retrospective, Detroit Institute of Arts, ed. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1986), 199.

129. Clara Porset to José Antonio Portuondo, Mexico City, January 2, 1950, Instituto de Literatura y Lingüstica, Havana, Fondo José Antonio Portuondo.

130. Clara Porset to Xavier Guerrero, June 19, 1955, UNAM, Facultad de Arquitectura, Centro de Investigaciónes de Diseño Industrial, Archivo Clara Porset.

131. Clara Porset to Anna Seghers, April, 2, 1956, UNAM, Facultad de Arquitectura, Centro de Investigaciónes de Diseño Industrial, Archivo Clara Porset.

132. Clara Porset to Anna Seghers, Undated (ca. 1956), UNAM, Facultad de Arquitectura, Centro de Investigaciónes de Diseño Industrial, Archivo Clara Porset.

133. Her first major task in 1960 was designing furniture for the Ciudad Escolar Camilo Cienfuegos, built for 5,000 students in the Sierra Maestra. Salinas Flores, “Xavier Guerrero,” 163.

134. Clara Porset to Martha Dodd, May, 27, 1966, US Library of Congress, Martha Dodd Papers, 1898–1990, Correspondence, circa 1928–1990, box 8.

135. Clara Porset to Martha Dodd, May, 27, 1966.

Research for this article was funded by the European Research Council as part of the project Left-Wing Exile, 1934–1960, hosted at the Instituto de Historia Ibérica y Latinoamericana at the University of Cologne, Germany. I would like to thank Aribert Reimann and Elena Díaz Silva at the University of Cologne for their invaluable guidance and encouragement during my research and Barbara Potthast for her support while at the University of Cologne. I am also very much in the debt of Jorge A. Vadillo López at the Centro de Investigaciones de Diseño Industrial at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, who facilitated my research at the Archivo Clara Porset and was always open and willing to share his knowledge of Porset's life and career. The helpful suggestions of two anonymous reviewers commissioned by The Americas also greatly improved this piece in the revision process.

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The Americas
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