Art history Ph.D. student Lesley Wolff recently curated the exhibition “As Cosmopolitans & Strangers: Mexican Art of the Jewish Diaspora from the Permanent Collection” at the National Museum of Mexican Art, in Chicago. The exhibit examines the contributions of artists of Jewish heritage to the evolution of a modern Mexican visual culture and features works by artists such as Gunther Gerzso, Diego Rivera, and Leonardo Nierman. Wolff took on this project as a way to inquire about the socio-political and creative roles of marginalized Diasporic communities in Mexico. The exhibition holds personal and professional relevance to Wolff, who is the daughter of a Jewish Mexican immigrant and whose doctoral research examines Mexican visual culture.
The exhibition will run through August 3, 2014 and will be open for viewing during the CAA conference this February. The National Museum of Mexican Art is located at 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago, IL.
This spring, Wolff will also be presenting her current research at the Twelfth Annual Material Culture Symposium for Emerging Scholars at the Winterthur Museum and Garden, in Wilmington Delaware. This year’s focus is “Consuming Objects.” Wolff will present her paper “Conspicuous Consumption: Mole Poblano and the Baroque Spirit,” which examines the nationalist mechanisms at play in Mexico’s famed culinary destination, Café de Tacuba. The paper emphasizes the embodied and consumer-driven experience of digesting mole poblano, a metaphor intended to perpetuate the elite act of “becoming” mestizo—a process further encoded in the visual imagery of the café.