Mr. Richard D. Kinder, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston,

Mr. Gary Tinterow, Director of this institution,

Dr. Lidia Camacho, Director General of Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts

Mr. Miguel Fernández Félix, Director of the Museo del Palacio Bellas Artes in Mexico

Mr. Oscar Rodríguez, Consul General of Mexico in Houston

 

Dear friends,

 

It is a pleasure to be representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico here with all of you tonight for the opening in Houston of this splendid exhibition, a truly bilateral effort of cultural collaboration and a means of bilateral cultural diplomacy.

 

There are few countries in the world today that are more important to each other than Mexico and the United States. The intensity and complexity of this relationship is not surprising: we share a long border; key values; and a transnational community with roots on both sides of the Rio Grande. 

 

This vibrant exchange is nowhere more apparent than in the arts and culture. And while this exchange has always existed, over the past years there has been a new and cutting-edge artistic wave from Mexico that has been crashing onto the US cultural and arts scene.

 

Innovative aesthetics and original voices; music and novels; theatre, film and cuisine, all provide a means through which our societies can better understand and interact with each other.

 

Paint the Revolution was conceived jointly by two museum directors of both countries, Miguel Fernández Felix, from the Museo del Palacio Bellas Artes and Timothy Rub, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

 

They formed a magnificent bilateral team of curators, and jointly produced the exhibition that we are enjoying tonight, which has already been presented with huge success in Philadelphia and Mexico City. 

 

Ladies and Gentleman,

 

In the current political times, when our bilateral relationship is at stake and discussions and negotiations on its future are taking place, I can’t think of a better way of showing what Mexico and the US can do when working together. 

 

Presenting Paint the Revolution at this prestigious museum in Houston is fundamental. As you all know, Mexico is the most important international trading partner of Texas and we are convinced that with a renewed NAFTA, our relationship will be even stronger.

 

Paint the Revolution captures a seminal artistic period in Mexico’s history in which our cultural expressions reached new heights and gained international recognition. It shows the values embodied by artworks of that era, honoring our Pre-Colombian past, working collectively towards development and social inclusion.

 

It shows how the Mexican muralists produced art in the US while both influencing and being influenced by American art. The exhibition showcases some of the ideals that artists debated and fought for.

 

It explores the contributions that generations of talented creatives in Mexico made to shape the modern world. And it explores their dialogue with the wider world—including and especially with the United States.

 

In the first half of the last century, artists on both sides of the border grew from this productive dialogue, and the bold achievements that resulted have offered something special to every generation since, including ours. 

 

For Americans seeking to understand Mexico through its art, visiting this exhibition is absolutely essential.  Tonight, we honor the bilateral partnership that takes the form of this splendid exhibition.

 

And as the people of this country are enriched through culture brought to the United States by the vast Mexican diaspora, and vice versa, we as nations become irreversibly intertwined.

 

 

Congratulations to the Museum of Fine Arts and all the institutions involved in this exhibition, for having such bilateral vision of collaboration and for showing us how, working together, our countries and our people become stronger.  Enjoy the evening.