The Mexico Diary

Winold Reiss Between Vogue Mexico and Harlem Renaissance

An Illustrated Trilingual Edition with Commentary and Musical Interpretation

The German-American artist Winold Reiss (1886-1953)--painter, designer, teacher--has been characterized as "a modern Cellini," defying instant categorization and labels. To this day, he remains something of an enigma to art critics. Winold Reiss stands at the beginning of a new American Modernism approach to depicting the vitality of African American culture. In 1920, while struggling through a creative and personal crisis, he went on a two-month-long trip through Mexico. His diary offers a unique glimpse into the artist's mind and heart. Reading it in conjunction with his drawings helps us better understand the function of Mexican art, folklore, religiosity and the history of mestizaje in the context of the stylizations of the cultural space which James Weldon Johnson called "Black Manhattan."

The Mexico Diary makes Reiss's text available in the original German as well as in English and Spanish translations and interlinks it with his sketches and paintings. The book also features an audo CD with key parts of the diary set to music and performed by Jens Barnieck and Frank Mehring.

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About the series Inter-American Studies/Estudios Interamericanos

Copublished by WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier and Bilingual Press in collaboration with the International Association of Inter-American Studies, this interdisciplinary series creates a forum for a critical academic dialogue between North and South on the cultures, societies, and histories of the Americas, promoting an inter-American paradigm that shifts the scholarly focus from methodological nationalism to the wider context of the Western Hemisphere.

Frank Mehring
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