Last updateFri, 10 Jun 2016 6am

Photography exhibit lays out slice of life in ‘quiet’ 20th century Mexico

A captivating exhibition of over 200 portraits taken by a Jalisco photographer whose career spanned some of the most eventful periods in Mexican history is showing in Casa ITESO Clavigero, a cultural center owned by the Jesuit university and centrally located one half block west of Avenida Chapultepec in Guadalajara’s Colonia Americana.

Pablo Ibarra lived from 1901 to 1973 in Arandas in Los Altos de Jalisco, an agricultural area about twice as far east of Guadalajara as Chapala is south of it. This is high, arid land known for its European communities, haciendas, tequila and livestock production, and as the principal setting of the violent Cristero War of the 1920s.

But religious persecution is only a minor theme in the exhibit. The portraits of families, couples, children and workers steal the show. 

One reason for this is that the portraits directly engage the emotions, despite — or maybe because of — the fact they are uniformly unsmiling (although by no means dour). 

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