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Untitled (Church)

ca. 1950 Martín Ramírez Born: Jalisco, Mexico 1895 Died: Auburn, California 1963 crayon, pencil, and watercolor on various joined papers 31 3/4 x 37 1/8 in. (80.8 x 94.2 cm) irregular Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.192 Not currently on view


Gallery Label

Martin Ramírez was among many Mexicans lured to America in the 1920s by the promise of work. He made the journey by train and worked for a time on the railroads and in mines. But in 1931, he was detained for vagrancy and subsequently admitted to a psychiatric hospital where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He spent his remaining thirty-two years institutionalized. Around 1950, he began to draw images that combine memories of his homeland, such as this parish church, with highly abstracted images evoking a profound sense of displacement and loss.

Keywords

Animal - donkey

Architecture Exterior - religious - church

drawing

folk art

crayon

paint - watercolor

pencil

paper

About Martín Ramírez

Born: Jalisco, Mexico 1895 Died: Auburn, California 1963

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Martín Ramírez