This article explores the “agency of display” by analyzing key moments in the exhibition of popular art in Mexico’s museums from the immediate postrevolutionary period through the neoliberal dismantling of the welfare state. It explores how the consumption of popular art has been rationalized in and through exhibitions to track the shift in state discourses regarding what constitutes citizenship at different historical moments. Situated within contemporary debates over the citizen-consumer, this article shows that popular citizenship and the consumption of popular art have always been linked while also acknowledging that the advent of social liberalism marks a distinct and highly paradoxical transformation of relations of state, society, and economy in Mexico. To that end, the article concludes by analyzing displays of popular art in the revised ethnographic galleries, a temporary exhibition by the Fondo Nacional de Fomento a las Artesanías, and the gift store at the National Museum of Anthropology.


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pp. 1-23
Launched on MUSE
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