National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Dr. Alejandro Anreus and Debra Blehart in memory of Juan. J. Mathé
José Gómez-Sicre 1916–1991
Born Matanzas, Cuba
José Clemente Orozco 1883–1949
Born Ciudad Guzmán, Mexico
José Gómez-Sicre is a crucial figure in creating a modern awareness in the United States of the richness and variety of Latin American art. Born in Cuba, he studied law and politics at University of Havana and art history at New York University and Columbia, making a career of disseminating Latin American art through museum exhibitions, diplomatic programs, and publications. From 1948 to 1976 he was chief of the Visual Arts Unit of the Pan-American Union, later renamed the Organization of American States. He was also founding director of the Art Museum of the Americas.
Gómez-Sicre took this photograph of himself with Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco in the painter’s studio in Guadalajara. A year earlier, in 1940, the Museum of Modern Art mounted the exhibition “Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art,” in which Orozco painted his portable mural Dive Bomber and Tank in front of the viewing public.