Documentos y correspondencia de Manuel Álvarez Bravo

Thanks to the support of the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (Conaculta; National Council for Culture and the Arts).

In 2012 Manuel Álvarez Bravo was honored with two major exhibitions: “Un photographe aux aguets” (A Photographer on the Lookout) in the Jeu de Paume in Paris and “Una biografía cultural” (A Cultural Biography) in the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes (Museum of the Palace of Fine Arts) of Mexico City. The curatorship of both exhibitions led to the review of the Álvarez Bravo documentary archive. 

The interest and abundance of materials discovered made it possible to formulate a plan of research, cataloguing, conservation, and digitalization of the content. A work plan was prepared and support was requested from the Comisión de Cultura de la Cámara de Diputados (Culture Commission of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies) and the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes through its Cultural Projects 2013 program.

Once the project was approved, a database was created with a record for each document, which compiled general information (sender, recipient, place, and date) and specific information (post or occupation of the sender and recipient, major figures, events, and works mentioned in the document), in addition to a description and thematic catalogue.

Creating the database has permitted putting the materials to best use and opened new fields of study on Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s life and work, the cultural life of Mexico in those years, and his relationship with national and international institutions. A large number of these documents refer to people connected with photography and art, so that they can also complement or enrich materials from other archives in Mexico and abroad. We are convinced that the preservation of the memory and culture of Mexico and the world depends first on the recovery of private archives and on what is under the care of this Association.