David Alfaro Siqueiros Ethnography 1939

  • Not on view

In Etnografía (Ethnography), a figure bursts forward from a stormy background, clothed in a white tunic characteristic of the Totonac people of Papantla, Veracruz. The mask that covers the figure’s face is modeled after an ancient Olmec carved wooden mask found in a cave in Iguala, Guerrero. Painted when Siqueiros was caught up in a public feud with fellow artist Diego Rivera, Etnografía was intended to criticize the tendency of some Mexican artists and intellectuals to idealize Mexico’s precolonial past while neglecting the struggles of living Indigenous populations.

Gallery label from 2022
Enamel on board
48 1/8 x 32 3/8" (122.2 x 82.2 cm)
Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Object number
© 2024 Siqueiros David Alfaro / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico
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].