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24 September 2019

Casa de los Campanas, Licenciado Primo de Verdad número #10, Centro Hístorico

With Leonora Carrington’s former home and studio being renovated as a museum, the English-born Mexican artist’s works are to be housed, temporarily at the “House of the Bells” in the Centro Hístorio.  Considering the building is the site of the first print shop, and the home of the woman editor and publisher, somehow I think Carrington would approve.

Pablos, like Carrington, was a double emigre. Born Giovani Paoli, he had emigrated to Spain to work for a Dutch firm with a contract to the Church.  When Cronberger signed a contract to provide printing in the Americas, Pablos, who was about 40 at the time, made the arduous journey, settling in and marrying a Mexican, Geronima Gutierrez.  She, and later her daughter, Maria de Figueroa acted as editors, and after Pablos’ death in 1560, as publisher.  They expanded the business from simply Church related material (including Spanish-Nahuatl dictionaries) and government documents to include literature.  One of the other may have been the ghost writer of the first novel in the Americas, “The Lieutenant Nun”… the supposed autobiography of Catarina de Erauso, the runaway nun who lived as a man, working as a mercenary and hitman, and later as a mule-skinner in Mexico.

Carrington, like de Erauso, had escaped a convent.  While never a nun, as the “problem daughter” of a wealthy English family, her surrealist art was unappreciated both by her family, and by the English public.  Moving to France, she lived with Max Ernst until he abandoned her (not so much he was a cad, but that the Gestapo was after him, and he married American art patron Peggy Gugenheim to obtain US residency).  Carrington’s family swooped in, and to get her out of Vichy France, popped her into a Spanish mental hospital run by an order of nuns.  Escaping out a bathroom window in a plot organized by her friend Pablo Picasso and a few others, she was whisked across the border in Portugal, hurriedly married to Mexican poet and diplomat Rene le Duc, and found a home in Mexico where her art was finally appreciated, and she would enjoy a long and successful career as a sculptor, painter, and novelist.



One Comment leave one →
  1. norm permalink
    25 September 2019 6:13 am

    Medication, even healthcare have come to be viewed as akin to food in most developed nations, the US being a notable exception. A nation of wealth such as Mexico can well afford to feed its poor and provide health care and its medicines; it is just a matter of will.

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