Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

The material in this book is based on many conversations and interviews in addition to the formal bibliography. I would like to thank (in no particular order): Marcial Camilo Ayala, Juan Camilo Ayala, Felix Camilo Ayala, Roberto Mauricio, Abraham Mauricio, Felix Jimenez Chino, Inocencio Jimenez Chino, his wife Florencia, Leonardo Camilo Altamirano, Claudia Altamirano, Felipe de la Rosa, Julio de la Rosa, Clemente de la Rosa, ...

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1. Introduction [Included Image Plates]

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pp. 1-12

What happens when poor, Nahuatl-speaking Mexican artists enter global art markets? What choices do they face? What is required for them to succeed? I will address these questions in this book by tracing the theme of liberty versus power in the lives of several Mexican painters, three of them brothers. These individuals have painted both on amate paper (bark paper) and on board—in both ...

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2. Early Years and the Quest for Markets

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pp. 13-40

The history of Oapan shows a growing role for the market means of producing wealth. This chapter presents the origins of the relevant markets and explains how the artists started in a family setting and then stepped into broader commercial transactions. We will see that the broader community, including the artists, has grown richer. At the end of the chapter, we will see how the artists have had ...

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3. American Discovery

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pp. 41-71

Our group of Oapan painters next encountered North American art markets. Rather than selling to tourists, they would sell to art collectors, through the medium of a gallery. The painters, most of all Marcial, acquired a North American patron. Ed Rabkin proved to be a formative influence on the painters’ lives. In terms of the theme of liberty versus power, the group ...

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4. The Lives Today [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 73-107

After the dealings with Rabkin dissolved, the Oapan group was left to sell in Mexican markets for paintings and amates. The size and reach of their markets shrunk considerably, and they lost their connection to international art markets. To the extent the painters had stayed with Rabkin, they had been insulated from the need ...

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5. How the Outside World Shapes Politics: Public Choice and Local Government

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pp. 109-140

I now return more explicitly to the theme of liberty versus power. We have seen the history of the painters in markets both within Mexico and abroad. The question remains how politics and power relations have shaped their lives. In Oapan and in Mexico more generally, we observe a largely dysfunctional politics. This has limited the progress of the painters and ...

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6. Concluding and Summary Remarks

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pp. 141-157

Few Oapan families see the production of amate art as playing a significant role in their longer-term future. Many of the best amate painters are still working and using the full force of their talents, but the supply of painters is not being replenished. While the young in Oapan dabble in amate, few, if any, have come close to the best artists of previous generations. The young in Oapan no longer find that careful amate work yields ...

Notes

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pp. 159-173

Bibliography

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pp. 175-181

Index

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pp. 183-190