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The Return to Aztlán

The Return to Aztlán
Usage Conditions Apply
Alternate Title
Cesar Chavez
Artist
Alfredo Arreguín, born 1935
Sitter
Cesar Estrada Chavez, 31 Mar 1927 - 23 Apr 1993
Dolores Huerta, born 10 Apr 1930
Miguel Hidalgo, 8 May 1753 - 30 July 1811
José María Morelos, 1765 - 1815
Emiliano Zapata, 1879 - 1919
Date
2006
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 152.4 × 121.9 cm (60 × 48")
Frame: 154.9 × 123.8 × 6.4 cm (61 × 48 3/4 × 2 1/2")
Topic
Cesar Estrada Chavez: Male
Cesar Estrada Chavez: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Labor leader
Cesar Estrada Chavez: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Activist
Cesar Estrada Chavez: Military and Intelligence\Navy
Cesar Estrada Chavez: Presidential Medal of Freedom
José María Morelos: Male
José María Morelos: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Revolutionary
Miguel Hidalgo: Male
Miguel Hidalgo: Politics and Government\Foreign leader\President\Mexico
Emiliano Zapata: Male
Dolores Huerta: Female
Dolores Huerta: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Labor leader
Dolores Huerta: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Activist\Civil rights activist
Dolores Huerta: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Dolores Huerta: Society and Social Change\Civic leader
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Felix Arreguin Velez and Catalina Toledo de Arreguin
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Object number
NPG.2007.214
Exhibition Label
Born North Gila Valley, near Yuma, Arizona
Encouraged by the civil rights movement, labor organizer Cesar Chavez began in the early 1960s to protest the unfair treatment of farm workers in California and the Southwest, the majority of whom were Mexican or Mexican American. In 1963 he and Dolores Huerta founded the forerunner of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), which launched a boycott of California table grapes in 1965 as part of a movement to improve working conditions for field laborers. This eventually resulted in a national boycott of grapes by many sympathetic Americans. This painting links modern-era activists Chavez and Huerta to historic figures Miguel Hidalgo and José María Morelos (leaders in Mexico’s War of Independence) and Emiliano Zapata (Mexican revolutionary and champion of agrarian reform), who shared their Mexican heritage and a commitment to justice. The painting’s title refers both to the mythical homeland of the Aztec people and to the cultural realm of greater Mexico.
Nacido en North Gila Valley, cerca de Yuma, Arizona
Incentivado por el movimiento en pro de los derechos civiles, el sindicalista Cesar Chavez comenzó en los años sesenta a organizar protestas por el tratamiento injusto que recibían los trabajadores agrícolas de California y el suroeste de Estados Unidos, que eran en su mayoría mexicanos o mexicano-americanos. En 1963, Chavez y Dolores Huerta fundaron la organización predecesora de la United Farm Workers of America (Unión de Trabajadores Campesinos de América) y en 1965 iniciaron un boicot de las uvas de California como parte del movimiento para mejorar las condiciones de los trabajadores rurales. Este acto terminó por generar un boicot nacional por parte de muchos estadounidenses solidarios. Esta pintura vincula a los activistas modernos Chavez y Huerta con las figuras históricas de Miguel Hidalgo y José María Morelos (líderes de la Guerra de Independencia de México) y Emiliano Zapata (revolucionario mexicano y defensor de la reforma agraria), quienes compartían la herencia mexicana y el compromiso con la causa de la justicia. El título de la obra alude a la mítica tierra ancestral de los aztecas y a la cultura mexicana en general.
Provenance
The artist; gift 2007 to NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
The Struggle for Justice Refresh
On View
NPG, West Gallery 220