José Vasconcelos

José Vasconcelos

José Vasconcelos. 1929. Photographer unknown. © Bettmann/CORBIS

José Vasconcelos played a pivotal role in shaping Mexico’s cultural and educational policy after the Revolution. As minister of education (1921–24), he created nationwide systems for primary school and technical education, dispatched teachers to educate the country’s peasant and Indian populations, and published thousands of inexpensive books and magazines. He viewed the visual arts as an effective tool for communicating the nation’s post-Revolutionary social ideals, and helped to spur Mexican muralism by offering commissions for major public works to local artists.