Postcard from Guanajuato, Mexico: Aqueduct leads to house museum of artistic couple

Following the path of an ancient aqueduct through the city led us to Museo de Arte Olga Costa-Jose Chavez Morado. Tree-shaded grounds surround the former home of the artists, married in Mexico City in 1935.

Olga Kostakowsky Falvisant (1913-1993) was born in Germany to Russians who had fled there to avoid persecution prior to World War I. Her family of Jewish origin sought safety in Mexico by 1925. Olga attended an arts school for three months in 1933 before withdrawing to help support the family. But the exposure to instruction from Carlos Merida and meaningful encounters with a fellow student, Jose Chavez Morado (1909-2002), altered the course of her life.

Morado, on the younger end of the generation of great Mexican muralists, taught art and among his murals are those found in Alhondiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato. Both painting, the couple was swept up in the movement of the Mexican Communist party and were regarded as important contributors to and patrons of the arts throughout their lives.

In a separate gallery on the grounds, an exhibition of paintings and sculpture, “Inconscientemente Inocente,” focuses on contemporary work by an artist born in Mexico City, Lalo del Valle. The artist’s sculptures include a weighty drop of ink splashing off a quill, chickens constructed from egg cartons pecking at their unnatural vitamin supplements and chihuahuas worshipping at the feet of their leader.

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