Of Art and Politics

Hannes Meyer and the Workshop of Popular Graphics

CAPFCE Exhibition in the Palace of Fine Arts, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Archiv der Moderne.

The Mexico of President Lázaro Cárdenas del Río (1934–40) was a fertile ground for the development of ideological questions, especially those originating from the left. The expropriation of oil fields, mining and large estates in 1938, the refuge granted Spanish republicans and members of the International Brigades in 1939, and the accord of mutual support between the government and syndicalist organizations all favored the formation of artistic and cultural groups willing to take part in the consolidation of revolutionary ideals which, until that point, had made little progress. Among these organizations was the Taller de Gráfica Popular, the Workshop of Popular Graphics.

The Workshop grew out of the former Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists), founded in 1933 and dissolved in 1937. That same year, under the leadership of renowned graphic artist Leopoldo Méndez, the new organization launched its foundational manifesto, declaring that “the TGP makes a constant effort to benefit, with its production, the progressive and democratic interests of the Mexican people, mainly in its struggle against the fascist reaction.”1 This commitment to progressive causes led to fruitful collaborations with the trade-unions and European refugees, mainly Spanish and German-speakers, with the latter represented first by the Liga pro-cultura alemana (Pro-German Culture League) and later by the Heinrich Heine Club and the Bewegung Freies Deutschland (Free Germany Movement).

Soon an important opportunity to collaborate with the trade-unions arose. On September 8, 1938, Vicente Lombardo Toledano, head of the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM), established the Confederation of Latin-American Workers (CTAL) and commissioned the artists of the TGP to design the advertisements for its foundational ceremony at the Palace of Fine Arts. This commission was probably the occasion for the group’s first encounter with someone who in the long run would become a key player within the organization, the Swiss architect Hannes Meyer.

USSR exhibition (Bellas Artes? 1942).
© Hannes Meyer-Archiv, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main.

Meyer came to Mexico for the first time in August 1938, following the advice of jurist, university lecturer and leftwing activist Alfons Goldschmidt that he attend the sixteenth International Conference on Planning and Housing in order to explore the possibility of immigrating to a country politically better fit for him. In fact, some months later, Meyer would refer to Mexico in his lecture “Experiences in Urbanism” as being “among the most advanced democracies in the world,”2 being this one of the reasons that inclined him to come.3 Apparently, it was the idea of Lombardo—a former student of Goldschmidt—to suggest that Meyer attend the conference as a pretext for acquainting himself with Mexico, its people and, especially, the architectural milieu that might help him find a position in academia, far away from a conservative-dominated Switzerland where there was no place for a communist like him, especially one who had spent six years in the Soviet Union.

Throughout his life, Meyer’s destiny had been determined by his weltanschauung. His reaction to changing political circumstances—whether in Germany, the Soviet Union or his native Switzerland—often led him to depart one country for another. Mexico would be no exception in this regard. Following his failed attempt to secure a teaching position at the University of Exile in the US,4 his decision to attend the planning and housing conference served its purpose well. Mexico’s need for professional training in the field of urbanism, a conviction expressed by the well-known architect and urbanist José Luis Cuevas Pietrasanta, opened the possibility for the Swiss architect to establish an Institute for Planning and Urbanism within the National Polytechnic Institute. Meyer would also profit from his time spent in Mexico in other ways: lecturing in the San Carlos Academy, publishing in the journal Arquitectura y Decoración and attending political events such as the inauguration of the CTAL. Most importantly, he would establish connections to people and groups of interest, both professional and political, with whom he would later work, including architects, politicians, diplomats, refugees and, of course, the artists of the TGP. Updating former Bauhaus student and fellow communist Max Gebhard of his whereabouts, Meyer wrote in 1947:

“I am since the beginning of this year the manager of the publishing house LA ESTAMPA MEXICANA again. There is a lot of volunteering work serving the Mexican leftist graphic. The publishing house is a so-called artists’ cooperative associated with the TALLER DE GRÁFICA POPULAR. In the workshop there are fifteen artists in graphics working together for the last ten years. Somehow, I am linked to these comrades since 1938. In 1941 we made poster-campaigns for the USSR; before, during Cardenas’ times, we illustrated many flyers for the illiterate peasants. (We also produced) specials and a portfolio against Franco’s Spain, 1938.—A large part of the black-and-white graphic in the BOOK OF NAZI-TERROR emerged from my link to the TALLER DE GRÁFICA POPULAR.”5

Hannes Meyer, Amate, 1948, drawing for the TGP Album.
© Hannes Meyer-Archiv, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main.

During that first trip, Meyer also made contact with the Liga Pro-Cultura Alemana, an organization consisting of individuals from different countries of origin whose membership spanned a variety of progressive political orientations, including social-democrats, anarchists, communists and others. They were united in the main by their anti-fascist commitment and a shared desire to promote German culture within the Mexican public. From his first meetings with the league he became an enthusiastic collaborator. Even after securing an employment contract with the Secretariat of Education, Meyer kept in contact with its members while dealing with visa and travel arrangements back in Europe, especially through league founder, the German émigré Erwin Friedeberg. He offered to post Friedeberg the nine volumes of Lenin’s complete works, asking that he occasionally intercede on Meyer’s behalf with the Polytechnic Institute and the Secretariat of Education until his arrival.6 He hoped to be back in Mexico with his family by February 1939, but the already difficult conditions in Europe and the impossibility of transit through Germany delayed their arrival until 2 June.7

Upon arriving in Mexico, Meyer immediately joined the League, assuming leadership of several aid campaigns to benefit newly arrived immigrants while waiting for approval to start work on his urban planning institute. He was overjoyed with Mexico’s rich cultural atmosphere, enhanced by many recently arrived European refugees, some of whom he already knew:

“There is here a big increase in the listed number of foreign intellectuals since last year. First the many Spanish refugees, among them many artists, professors, writers, then intellectuals expelled by German fascism, some of whom I know from before or met in Moscow. As a result, here I am better known than in all Switzerland. In this regard, the spiritual life here is very stimulating.”8

Yet, not even the arrival of Alfons Goldschmidt to the League in 1939 could prevent its demise—an event speeded by the latter’s death in 1940—as differences between its members grew regarding the political events taking place in Europe.9 But before its termination, the League, with the participation of local intellectuals, organized cultural activities with an anti-fascist slant, reaching a wide Mexican audience through the advertisements designed by the TGP. These included three series of lectures totaling 24 in 1938 and 1939, starting with “The true German Culture” in which was talked about “Goethe, Heinrich Heine, the music or literature proscribed by the Nazis, counting with the collaboration of Vicente Lombardo Toledano, Rafael Sánchez de Ocaña, Luis Sandi, Ermilo Abreu Gómez y José Mancisidor.”10

Lombardo Toledano and Leopoldo Méndez were among the Mexican intellectuals who supported the establishment of the League.11 As part of the political circle that had gathered around Toledano and the German-speaking group, Meyer was able to meet TGP artists and cultivate their friendship, even living in the same building as the engraver Ignacio Aguirre.

Pabellón Comité de ayuda a Rusia en Guerra, 1943.
© Hannes Meyer-Archiv, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main.

Despite Meyer’s shared ideology with the majority of the TGP’s members, it was not initially his intention to approach them through politics; moreover, he was not yet ready to seriously participate in their discussions, which included topics such as production and printing matters he perceived as “very problematic in [a] good sense.” 12 Instead, after getting to know them either at the CTAL ceremony or through the League13, he preferred to bond with the artists through shared interests, mural painting in particular. On September 22, 1939, he spoke, perhaps for the first time, directly with them on such topics: “Yesterday I had the opportunity to audition in a big painters-collective of 15 painters on fresco colors. I showed LANGEMANN’s patterns and the group agreed, subsequently, to request as an experiment perhaps 1 kilo of the cheapest and a bit less of the expensive types.”14

Following the call to “Unity at all costs … (of) all the truly patriotic, progressive and revolutionary elements, the lovers of liberty and progress and the enemies of the fascist reaction,”15 exhorted by the Comintern, the artists of the TGP joined Cárdenas’s Popular Front.16 The group produced propaganda materials for, among other causes, the president’s literacy campaign, and painted murals in many of the newly constructed schools around the country. The discussion over materials and techniques to be employed in these frescoes increased Meyer’s connection with the TGP artists and also provided occasions to maintain contact with his European friends, writing not only to Hugin, but to Hans Berger as well, asking them to weigh in on these matters:

“I have here from before some painter-friends, Mexicans. They inquire about the technical execution of frescoes in Europe as well as in Switzerland. I have written therefore to Hugin, who responded by return of mail. With the huge popularity of frescoes here in Mexico, it is important to be technically flawless. Belgian fresco-colors are used, since they are considered the best, yet, they hold “up here” relatively well, but … on the Pacific coast they fade rapidly due to the effects of the tropical climate and the horrendously strong sun.”17

Pabellón Comité de ayuda a Rusia en Guerra, 1943, Interior.
© Hannes Meyer-Archiv, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, photo: © Josephine Vollmer.

Meyer was, nonetheless, not free from political controversies and disputes. Already in December of 1939, he was denounced by Diego Rivera as a GPU agent to the DIES Committee of the American Senate, together with more than 20 Mexican intellectuals and politicians. This accusation, blamed in part on the influence of Meyer’s former friend, the Swiss economist Fritz Sulzbachner (aka Federico Bach), a recently converted Trotskyite, and the architect Juan O’Gorman, penetrated to the realm of the Institute, where he encountered strong opposition to his ideas from the School of Architecture and Engineering. The Institute of Planning and Urbanism had no chance; the intrigues, xenophobia and jealousy, and a lack of interest from the newly elected Ávila Camacho government, led to its closing in 1941. He wrote to Paul Artaria:

“In December of 1939, after the outbreak of war, I was inscribed by Diego Rivera, together with other 25 Mexican intellectuals, in a list for the American DIES-Committee that appeared in the whole American press and, of course, also in the Mexican. Professor Bach was not indifferent to this list as he implied through the Trotskyite architect Juan O’Gorman, that I was a GPU agent. When he saw me later, he was oversweet to me.”18

Leo Trotsky’s death also had dire consequences, both, for the artist of the TGP and for Meyer himself:

“When in the spring of 1941, Trotsky was assassinated, this band immediately became suspicious of us, the “Stalinists.” On June 21, 1941 I was expelled from my office at the Planning Institute under the direct intervention of President A[vila] Camacho due to such intrigues. Bach and his band were also involved in this coup through denunciation. Later, in June 1942, a long article from a special correspondent (Bosshard, now NZZ) appeared in the Berner Bund on the situation in Mexico, in which I was again mentioned in connection with the organization of Trotsky’s murder.”19

Pabellón Comité de ayuda a Rusia en Guerra, 1943, Interior.
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Archiv der Moderne.

To clear his name, the architect had to request a police report addressed to the Swiss consulate.20 As for the TGP, the muralist José Clemente Orozco, a committed communist, and two of his assistants, José Pujol and Luis Arenal, both members of the group, were named as responsible for the first attempt on Trotsky’s life, having used the facilities of the workshop to dress up before the attack. The group came therefore under police surveillance, triggering the departure of some members and the cooling of its relationship to the Communist Party.21 Moreover, with the change of government in December of 1940, the main clientele of the TGP, the Workers’ University and the trade-unions, lost their influence and new commercial strategies had to be found.22

Meyer’s relationship to the German exiles was equally problematic. He had advised them not to establish a branch of the German Communist Party (KPD) in Mexico apart from the Mexican Communist Party (PCM) as Leo Katz relates:

“I made the comrades attentive that Hannes Meyer, from the first day of our arrival, had pronounced himself against the foundation of a German party group in Mexico and had denied its authorization; as he pointed out, on February 9, 1941, in his apartment, in the presence of a representative of the Mexican Party, (Dionisio) Encina, and a group of intellectuals, that there is no firm ground under their feet, but a dream of a German party group that under no circumstance can be founded.”23

This position led to friction between the leadership of the Bewegung Freies Deutschland and those close to the Italian group, his friends the communist politicians Mario Montagnana and Vittorio Vidali. By the end of 1942 the conflict, especially with newly-arrived German communist Paul Merker, had escalated after a misunderstanding in the unauthorized use of his name in a supposed letter of support to the Soviet Union in which the Nazi Party was criticized. He wrote to the editors of Alemania Libre:

“A manifesto seems to me empty and without life, when it is not the true expression of the will of all of those who sign it. But, as usual, they put the signatures of friends without asking them before for their approval.

In my own case, I had no intention of publicly present myself as a writer or German-speaking writer. This thing would appear to me as a fraud …

Worse than the professional detour is the politic: which responsibility do we, Swiss, have for the cruelty of the Hitlerist bands against the USSR? Which is my right and which my obligation, as a Swiss, to suggest the German people what to do (or not) with the Hitlerist bands? I do not remotely think I should feel responsible for Herr Hitler and his bands.”24

USSR exhibition (Bellas Artes? 1944?).
© Hannes Meyer-Archiv, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main.

The call for “unity” behind the anti-fascist campaign and the Mexican government’s declaration of war on the axis in May of 1942, allowed Meyer to continue to cooperate with the German exiles. When the Printing house El libro libre—Editorial de literatura anti-Nazi en lengua alemana (The Free Book—Publishing House for Anti-Nazi Literature in the German Language) launched an initiative to write a book denouncing Nazi cruelty, it received immediate support from the Mexican and Peruvian presidents, as well as Czech president-in-exile Edvard Beneš. Meyer was entrusted with the selection of images, choosing works by artists of the TGP, including Leopoldo Méndez, Pablo O’Higgins and Alfredo Zalce, to accompany texts by Anna Seghers, André Simoné, Lyonel Feuchtwanger, Thomas Mann and other exiled authors.25

To foster production and extend the reach of the TGP, in 1942 Meyer came up with the idea, probably inspired by El Libro Libre, to open the Publishing House La Estampa Mexicana.26 Meanwhile, after the closure of the planning institute, Meyer received a position within the Department for Workers’ Housing of the Secretariat of Labor. There, he met one of his closest collaborators, the architect Kay B. Adams. By the end of 1942, Kay had left Mexico for Boston but remained in close contact with Meyer and his wife Lena Bergner, cooperating with them in many ways, from translating Meyer’s texts, to serving as an intermediary between him and galleries and museums in the US.

Among the initiatives Meyer undertook was a traveling exhibition against Nazi terror in Europe, done with Bergner in 1942. This was followed by the pavilions for the Aid Committee for the USSR at War and the Committee against Nazi Terror, both displayed at the first Book Fair of 1943,27 in which they collaborated with the artist of the TGP. Wartime circumstances, in fact, made Bergner into something of an exposition specialist. She organized 18 travelling exhibitions on Russian culture, “each in a volume of ca. 50–75 single boards of 96x72 cm, each with around 600–700 photos, drawings, decorations, etc.”28

Meyer left the Secretariat of Labor to follow his former boss Ignacio García Tellez to the newly established Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS: Mexican Institute for Social Security) in July of 1944. He became the Chairman of the Planning Commission of Hospitals and Clinics, developing with Dr. Neftalí Rodríguez, the medical-architectonic program for the first zone-hospital to be built in Mexico City, La Raza.

Hannes Meyer, Sketch in a dummy for a Bauhaus book, undated (ca. 1947).
gta Archives / ETH Zurich, Hannes Meyer, © heirs of Hannes Meyer.

Health and education were important pillars in president Ávila Camacho’s political agenda. Just as the IMSS was charged with establishing publicly funded healthcare provision, in education the Comité Administrador del Programa Federal de Construcción de Escuelas (CAPFCE: Administrative Committee of the Federal Program for the Construction of Schools) was responsible for building a network of schools in towns and villages throughout the country. In 1945, as Meyer was “wasting his time” at the IMSS,29 he was invited to organize the first exhibition of the CAPFCE in the Palace of Fine Arts. He believed this commission would allow him to leave his current job:

“Lena and I, we had a boom of work at home during the last 2 weeks: I am in charge of the ‘Federal School Board Exhibition’ in BELLAS ARTES, opened on aug-21. 720 new schools on the way to be realized in 28 states of this country. $54,000,000 (pesos) of this three years programm [sic] (1944–45–46). A well-paid task and as I get some money I wish to leave SEGURO SOCIAL now. I loose [sic] my time there. The Federal School Committee will probably send me away and give me opportunities for publications.”30

In fact, the CAPFCE exhibition allowed Meyer to leave the IMSS as he became “a sort of coordinator.”31 He was proud that his Mexican colleagues entrusted him with the design of the exhibition, for which Lena developed all the charts and graphics and, once again, included artists from the TGP in producing 26 drawings to illustrate each state,32 including Francisco Mora and Isidoro Ocampo.33 For the CAPFCE, Meyer organized the plan and photographic archive and edited the catalogue of works done between 1944 and 1946. The atmosphere at the organization soon deteriorated. By 1947, with the catalogue almost finished, Meyer was complaining about the lack of cooperation, especially from José Luis Cuevas, resigning from his job due to “strong corruption” within the administration. He continued, nonetheless, to cooperate with them, “and took care voluntarily only of the big ALBUM 1944–46 and some publications of minor importance.”34 He wrote Kay B. Adams: “Funny: the famous MEMORIA is still not finished. Cuevas, the senile monster, behaves in his obstruction and does not finish his text-book.”35

The fate of the catalogue published by Meyer, Albe Steiner and Enrique Castro was impacted as well by a strike at the printing house, which ended only in mid-1948. Work on a series of 48 postcards by TGP artists was also affected.36 The catalogue was doomed. The delay in its publication, the inner disputes and strikes, and the change of government prevented it from being distributed.37

The promotion of the TGP’s work in the United States started in 1938 (still as members of the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolutionarios38) and by 1944 had taken definite form. “It was during Meyer’s participation that the Art Institute of Chicago assembled three big exhibitions on Mexican graphics: the first on José Guadalupe Posada (1944), assuming him as the precursor of the group’s work; the second, on Leopoldo Mendez (1945); and the third about the works of the TGP (1946).”39 The interest in Mexican art of curator Katherine Kuh and Art Institute director Karl Oscar Schniewind was central to this endeavor.40 To his friends Meyer wrote little of their exchanges, highlighting only the international recognition of the workshop. A notable exception was his reference to the second exhibition: “Now Leopoldo Mendez is having a ‘large exhibition’ in the Art Institute of Chicago (whose Director, Schneewind [sic] you probably know); he studied in Zurich and has a Berner for [a] wife”41

Hannes Meyer, Sketch in a dummy for a Bauhaus book, undated (ca. 1947).
gta Archives / ETH Zurich, Hannes Meyer, © heirs of Hannes Meyer.

In 1946 Meyer replaced German journalist and communist party official Georg Stibi in the management of La Estampa Mexicana on a voluntary basis. After his Soviet experience, Meyer’s own approach to art had dramatically changed. He had abandoned abstraction as he believed that a nation with high levels of illiteracy, as existed then in Mexico, could only understand figurative art. Folklore thus became an important aspect of his and Lena’s work. The couple was impressed by Mexican scenery, which they loved to sketch while traveling, describing their pictures as “terribly realistic landscapes.” He wrote: “In all the Russian, Swiss and Mexican years, one thing had been preoccupying us very much that in the Bauhaus we never treated: FOLKLORE.”42

The Meyers were active not only in the production of the different albums, including Jean Charlot’s Madre Mexicana, and the collective Estampas de la Revolución Mexicana, but also in its international dissemination. Hannes worked mainly “in the printing, cared for the typographic layout, bought the paper, watched over the printing, the paper cut and forming of the edition …. (Besides, he cared for) the sales and propaganda/prospects and watched over the correspondence.”43 Lena dealt with most of the exhibitions taking place abroad. In February of 1948 they presented their first exhibition in Poland and Czechoslovakia, with the Bryant Foundation in the United States preparing a short film on their work.44 The Meyers worked intensively in selling the albums as the only means to maintain the workshop. In that year they prepared the commemorative album for the tenth anniversary of the CTAL.

The last important work Meyer did for the workshop was the album Taller de Gráfica Popular: 12 años de creación artística. He regarded it as a potentially important example for the new European situation, writing: “I am convinced that our artistic production will contribute to the formation of the new SOCIALIST REALISM in Europe.”45 Curiously, when invited to participate as artists, he and Lena chose landscapes over political or social content.46

Despite all the efforts to reorganize the publishing house and balance their finances, the economic crisis made it almost impossible. Kay B. Adams was working on an urgently needed translation of the album, while American philanthropist Ruth Covo was ready to loan the capital needed to finish the book.”47 It was the only thing still keeping them in Mexico.

The various political disputes among the left were also felt within the TGP, as Meyer reported to Mendez, who was at the opening of the exhibition in Warsaw: “The situation in the Workshop is complicated and open to many controversies. … It is clear that Alberto and Mariana, together with the 4 of Bucareli, want to take possession of the TGP. Most difficult is the (partial) disunity and disinterest of the rest ….”48

Hannes Meyer, Los Remedios, 1948.
© Hannes Meyer-Archiv, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, photo: Uwe Dettma.

In the meantime, Meyer’s personal finances had deteriorated dramatically, and most of the couple’s friends, such as the Italians Mario Montagnana and Carlos Contreras, had returned to Europe to participate in rebuilding their respective countries. With the departure of Albe and Lica Steiner for Milan, the couple began feeling quite isolated. Mexican politics was also affecting him; the government of Miguel Alemán leaned towards the right and Meyer complained bitterly of the unsustainable levels of corruption. All of these factors, with the addition of an accident suffered early in 1949, triggered their return to Europe, a move Meyer had been postponing since 1946. He had contacted many of his former Bauhaus acquaintances to produce an album, but also in the hope of finding a job somewhere; however, neither materialized.

On 1 September 1949, the Meyers finally left Mexico. Settling in the Swiss canton of Ticino, Meyer worked from there on promoting the TGP through exhibitions, lectures and articles. Of special interest was an exposition at the Museum of Applied Arts in Zurich, directed by former Bauhaus teacher Johannes Itten. Meyer considered it a great opportunity, being that the museum attracted a wide public.49

Despite his efforts, the distance from Mexico hindered his ability to influence decisions at the TGP. Although he was no longer an active member, there were still pending issues to be resolved regarding the TGP album. He privately complained to Mendez:

“Lena and I cannot accept quietly the current situation, derived from your decision at La Est(ampa) Mex(icana) of suspending the bookbinding of the rest of our edition of the TGP Album, i.e., 1200 copies. We are neither morally nor economically ready to accept the wasting of 2/3 of our labor with the aforementioned album. Both of us, the artists of the TGP and the producers of the album, are very interested in the diffusion of its first edition.—You are forcing me to repeat that during the last year of our stay in Mexico, we have worked almost exclusively in the realization of this dream: to see the work of the TGP together in a publication that could help the artists and co-religionists worldwide [to orient themselves] towards a realist and social concept in this domain. Both of us cannot believe that with 2/3 of the album, the filth of what was done to us with the MEMORIA CAPFCE is repeating itself by throwing away three years of our work, of Steiner, Lena, HM and the rest, a work done with the same enthusiasm, as a service to Mexico (voluntarily done by me). I cannot believe that this procedure is happening again with the publication of the TGP!”50

Meyer remained closely attached to the TGP for the rest of his life. The TGP album, the exhibition in Zurich and an article for the journal Graphis were his last collaborations, undertaken even as his health was deteriorating. He passed away on 19 July 1954.

  • 1 Louise Noelle: “El Taller de Gráfica Popular a setenta y cinco años de su creación,” in: Noelle Louise & Cristóbal Jácome: Frente al Fascismo: el poder de la imagen ante el totalitarismo, Academia de Artes México, Ciudad de México 2012.
  • 2 Hannes Meyer: “Experiencias de Urbanismo”, in: Arquitectura y Decoración, No. 12, 1938, pp. 252–257.
  • 3 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Gonzalo Vázquez Vela, 17 October 1938, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-411(1).
  • 4 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Alfons Goldschmidt, 15 October 1937, Archiv der Moderne, Weimar, Inv.-No. HMB 17S.A4 Mexico.
  • 5 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Max Gebhardt, 26 September 1947, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-838(23).
  • 6 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Erwin Friedeberg, 11 February 1939, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-888a.
  • 7 Ibid.
  • 8 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Hans, Melie and Jean Berger, 23 July 1939, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-864 (10)a.
  • 9 Meyer would later identify many of the members of the League as Trotskyites, including Friedeberg. See Hannes Meyer: Notes on Mexico, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-866(1-6).
  • 10 Teresa Cañadas García: La huella de la cultura en lengua alemana en México a partir del exilio de 1939–1945, PhD dissertation, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2013, p. 68.
  • 11 Ibid.
  • 12 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Otto Roos, 31 December 1940, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-877.
  • 13 In his correspondence Meyer never specified how they first became acquainted.
  • 14 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Karl Hugin, 23 September 1939, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-866(5)
  • 15 Lyle C. Brown: “Los Comunistas y el Régimen de Cárdenas”, (30 October 2018), p. 29.
  • 16 Helga Prignitz-Poda: Taller de Gráfica Popular, Plakate und Flugblätter zu Arbeiterbewegung und Gewerkschaften in Mexiko 1937–1986, Iberoamerikanisches Institut, Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin 2002, pp. 6–11.
  • 17 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Hans, Melie and Jean Berger, 23 July 1939, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-864(10)a.
  • 18 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Paul Artaria, u/d, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-784(17).
  • 19 Ibid. Meyer was accused in the Swiss Press by Günther Reinhardt, a German-born journalist, private investigator and FBI informant who had moved to the United States in 1925, of being the Head of the Comintern in Mexico. I would like to thank Professor Thomas Flierl for letting me read his then unpublished manuscript, “Rückkehr ohne Ankunft. Hannes Meyer auf dem Weg nach Europa” which contains Tatiana Efrussi’s discovery of the accuser. See also Günther Reinhardt: Crime without Punishment: The Secret Soviet Terror against America, Hermitage House, Inc., New York 1952.
  • 20 García Martínez & Jesús María: Police Report to the General Swiss Consulate in Mexico, 3 December 1942, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-390.
  • 21 Prignitz-Poda: Taller de Gráfica Popular, 2002 (see fn. 13) pp. 8–9.
  • 22 Ibid.
  • 23 Institut für Marxismus-Leninismus beim Zentral-Komitee der SED, Zentrales Parteiarchiv #6512. Quoted in Wolfgang Kießling: Alemania Libre in Mexiko, 1941–46, Band 1, Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1974, pp. 46–47.
  • 24 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Paul Merker, Alexander Abusch and Bruno Frei, 6 November 1942, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No.82/1-927(2).
  • 25 Antonio Castro Leal, et al: El Libro Negro del Terror Nazi en Europa, El Libro Libre, México 1943.
  • 26 Prignitz-Poda: Taller de Gráfica Popular, 2002 (see fn. 13), p. 19.
  • 27 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Margaret Keller-Dambeck, 5 May 1947, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-842(11).
  • 28 Ibid.
  • 29 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Kay B. Adams, 26 August 1945, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation Archives.
  • 30 Ibid.
  • 31 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Wera Meyer-Waldeck, 8 November 1947, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-847(1)a.
  • 32 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Ernst Morgenthaler, 10 April 1948, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-870(17)b.
  • 33 Hannes Meyer: CAPFCE, Memoria de la Primera Planeación, Proyección y Construcciones Escolares de la República Mexicana 1944–1946, México 1947.
  • 34 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Wera Meyer-Waldeck, 8 November 1947, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-847(1)a.
  • 35 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Kay B. Adams, 20 July 1947, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation Archives.
  • 36 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Heinrich Starck, 20 June 1948, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-799(5).
  • 37 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Leopoldo Mendez, 25 April 1950, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-880(35).
  • 38 Humberto Musacchio: “Historia Política de un grupo de artistas,” in: El Taller de Gráfica Popular, Fondo de Cultura Económica, México 2007, p. 26. Quoted in Viridiana Zavala, unpublished manuscript from her doctoral dissertation. I would like to thank Viridiana for allowing me to quote her work in progress.
  • 39 Diane Miliotes: What Way Come: The Taller de Gráfica Popular, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago 2014 (quoted in Viridiana Zavala, unpublished manuscript).
  • 40 Ibid.
  • 41 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Ernst and Sascha Morgenthaler, n/d, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-870(19)a.
  • 42 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Fritz Kuhr, 24 August 1947, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-843 (3).
  • 43 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Ernst and Sascha Morgenthaler, n/d, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-870(18)a.
  • 44 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Willy Baumeister, 30 March 1948, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-861.
  • 45 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Mario Montagnana, 18 February 1948, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-815(14).
  • 46 See Hannes Meyer: Taller de Gráfica Popular, 12 años de creación artística, La Estampa Mexicana, México 1948.
  • 47 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Kay B. Adams, 11 May 1949, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-883(12).
  • 48 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Leopoldo Mendez, 24 September 1948, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-880(3).
  • 49 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Leopoldo Mendez, 25 January 1950, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-880(23).
  • 50 Hannes Meyer: Letter to Leopoldo Mendez, 25 April 1950, Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM), Inv.-No. 82/1-880(34).
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