Juan O'Gorman The Sand Mines of Tetelpa 1942

  • Not on view

As a student at the National Preparatory School in the early 1920s, O'Gorman often stopped to watch José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera creating murals there. Although trained as an architect (he famously designed a modernist home—two buildings connected by a bridge—for Rivera and Frida Kahlo), O'Gorman left his thriving practice in 1935 to commit himself to painting. This is one of the many paintings of the Mexican countryside he made using tempera paint—a medium, popular in medieval and early Renaissance art, capable of producing the rich details O'Gorman desired. He presents a bird's-eye view of a landscape that held personal importance to him: his Irish father, an amateur painter, had immigrated to Mexico to work in the mining industry. O'Gorman translated his love of Mexico's arid topography into not only his paintings but also large stone mosaics he made from rocks collected throughout the country.

Gallery label from 2009.
Tempera on board
22 1/4 x 18" (56.5 x 45.7 cm)
Gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr.
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].