José Guadalupe Posada
Legendary Printmaker of Mexico


A New Traveling Exhibition
Organized by

The Catalina Island Museum
Avalon, CA

in association with

The Posada Art Foundation

2019 - 2022

José Guadalupe Posada
Legendary Printmaker of Mexico

Installation at Catalina Island Museum, 2017


José Guadalupe Posada
Legendary Printmaker of Mexico

Posada & Son

One of Mexico’s most celebrated artists was a printmaker, a common man who died a pauper, his body interred in an unmarked grave.  Yet, José Guadalupe Posada reached his countrymen through perhaps more than 20,000 images documenting nearly every aspect of life. As Mexico modernized in the late 19th century, its capital bustled with published materials to satisfy the growing metropolis and its budding middle class, intelligentsias, and thousands of new residents relocating from the countryside.  Employed by the visionary publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, Posada created expressive images reflecting and informing the transitioning culture of Mexico City’s residents, many of whom were illiterate. Posada’s satirical skeletons, or calaveras, have become the most iconic and celebrated of his work.

Decades after his death, art historians and artists continue to recognize Posada’s cultural contributions, reflecting not only the spirit of Mexican identity in his time and ours but imparting a universal perspective extending well beyond the borders of his native Mexico. Underwriting Posada’s legacy was his main editor Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, whose hand directed and crafted the publications displaying and catering to the popular culture of Mexico.

Posada’s main publisher:
Antonio Vanegas Arroyo (1852-1917)

José Guadalupe Posada’s images captured all aspects of daily life in Mexico City from 1889-1913, directly inspiring artists like Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and over one hundred years later, he continues to impact countless artists creating today’s social movement imagery. Due to the scope of influence and timeless quality of Posada’s work he has been called prophetic and even the father of Mexican printmaking. A wide representation of Posada’s work, including his famous Day of the Dead calaveras and the artist’s original printing plates, make up this unique and inspiring exhibition. Bringing together nearly sixty of the artist’s most iconic images, this exhibition is remarkable for its inclusion of rarely exhibited printing plates, many signed in the plate by Posada himself. In addition, the exhibition explores the relatively unknown relationship between the artist and Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, one Mexico City’s most popular publishers with whom Posada worked under, and collaborated with, from 1889 until his death in 1913.

Workshop of JG Posada

Using the inexpensive media of print on paper, the Vanegas Arroyo print shop injected thousands of ideas and images into the hands of many. With an extraordinary ability to have a pulse of daily life in Mexico City, Vanegas Arroyo set the agenda for content to be published. Posada illustrated everything including the news (both sensational and factual) as well as songs, stories and poems – many of which were penned by Vanegas Arroyo himself. Political figures and satirical critiques on contemporary issues were not shied away from and were illustrated with increased vigor as Mexico hurtled toward revolution. Together, Vanegas Arroyo and Posada became a dominate force in shaping Mexican identity and popular culture.

A final section of the exhibition is dedicated to the legacy of Posada and the unbelievable sphere of influence his images have been used for to connect events like the Mexican Revolution, artists fighting Nazis and Fascism, Lucha Libre, the Cuban Revolution, the Grateful Dead, Day of the Dead and the art of today’s social movements.

José Guadalupe Posada: Legendary Printmaker of Mexico was organized by the Catalina Island Museum in association with the Posada Art Foundation, the largest collection of Posada’s artworks privately held in the United States. The collection was acquired by the Foundation directly from the Vanegas Arroyo family. The texts are presented in English and Spanish. The exhibition is available for presentation through 2022.

This exhibition is generously loaned by the Posada Art Foundation.

José Guadalupe Posada
Legendary Printmaker of Mexico

Exhibition Information

60 works
A gallery guide
Space Req:
250 running feet approx.
Dates Available:
January 2019 - December 2022
Loan Fee:
Upon Request
Exhibitor responsible 
Exhibitor responsible 


Secuarble vitrines for some of the objects Appropriate lighting, climate control and security


Landau Traveling Exhibitions
Tel: 310 -397-3098


- Introduction - Images of Works -
- List of Works - Installation Views -