Mother and Sons: C. 1940s-50s Mexican Folk Art Fotoescultura

Regular price $295.00

A second fotoescultura today, from the same collection as the wedding couple I listed last week, which since found a new home in a great collection--and since motherhood is a theme running through several listings today, it seemed right to share this one now. 

From the website of the Met Museum: "Fotoescultura is a Mexican folk art form that flourished from the late 1920s through the early 1980s. Often commissioned by traveling salesmen to honor individuals, commemorate important events, or memorialize the dead, fotoesculturas typically consist of a hand-tinted portrait photograph, trimmed and adhered to a carved mount of the same shape and surrounded by an elaborate wooden frame. Sold primarily in Mexico as well as in Mexican-American communities in Houston and Chicago, fotoesculturas were particularly popular during and after World War II, when families were anxious to memorialize absent sons, brothers, and fathers."

I believe this one dates to the 1940s-50s, based on her dress, their shirts, and comparison with others (including a solo portrait from the collection of Barbara Levine that realized $ 1,875 in a vernacular photography auction at Swann- here.)  I can imagine that this mother--in pretty carved and painted minty green dress with hand-decorated collar, corsage and gold pendant-- had her hands full with these two, neither of whom looks especially glad to be sitting for their portraits! (And she looks a bit exasperated, too.) Great faces on all three, and attitudes on the boys especially, and altogether a pretty wonderful thing. 

15 3/8 w x 12 5/8 t x 4” d. Good vintage condition, with general aging to the surface of the photos and  a patch of surface loss/roughness to the cheek of the boy at left. All as documented. Originally there would have been a plate of glass behind them, held in place by tacks (the reverse shows holes where they would have held it.)