Toward Its Own Destruction (The Wall Street Journal)

In an essay in The Wall Street Journal, Mary Tompkins Lewis discusses The Epic of American Civilization, the José Clemente Orozco mural at Dartmouth’s Baker-Berry Library. Painted between 1932 and 1934, the work was named a National Historic Landmark last year.

Orozco’s “brutally expressive and bitterly pessimistic recounting of history in the Western Hemisphere suggests that the ideals and liberation promised by the region’s cyclical revolutions and inscribed in its cold, mechanized forms were anything but assured,” writes Lewis, who teaches art history at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and is a frequent contributor to the Journal.

“In his unflinching engagement at Dartmouth with the cyclical revolutions and colonial legacies that had shaped the history of the Americas, Mr. Orozco also evinced a growing consciousness in the years between the wars of the unprecedented horrors wrought by the machine age,” she writes.

Read the full story, published 1/3/14 by The Wall Street Journal.