Parution : From idols to antiquity : forging the National Museum of Mexico (1825-1867)

From idols to antiquity
From idols to antiquity


  • Achim, Miruna. Auteur

Miruna Achim is a professor of humanities at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana–Cuajimalpa in Mexico City. She is the author of several books on science history in Spanish and coauthor of Death and Dying in Colonial Spanish America with Martina Will de Chaparro.

Résumé de l’éditeur

From Idols to Antiquity explores the origins and tumultuous development of the National Museum of Mexico and the complicated histories of Mexican antiquities during the first half of the nineteenth century. Following independence from Spain- the National Museum of Mexico was founded in 1825 by presidential decree. Nationhood meant cultural as well as political independence- and the museum was expected to become a repository of national objects whose stories would provide the nation with an identity and teach its people to become citizens. Miruna Achim reconstructs the early years of the museum as an emerging object shaped by the logic and goals of historical actors who soon found themselves debating the origin of American civilizations- the nature of the American races- and the rightful ownership of antiquities. Achim also brings to life an array of fascinating characters–antiquarians- naturalists- artists- commercial agents- bureaucrats- diplomats- priests- customs officers- local guides- and academics on both sides of the Atlantic–who make visible the rifts and tensions intrinsic to the making of the Mexican nation and its cultural politics in the country’s postcolonial era.

Voir un extrait, url : <>.


Des portions de l’introduction et des chapitres 2, 4, et 5 ont paru dans : “The National Museum of Mexico, 1825–1867”, Museum History Journal, 2016, vol. 9, n° 1, p. 13-28.

Des portions du chapitre 3 ont paru dans : “The Art of the Deal, 1828: How Isidro Icaza Traded Pre-Columbian Antiquities to Henri Baradère for Mounted Birds and Built a National Museum in Mexico City in the Process”, West 86th, 2011, September, vol. 18, n° 2, p. 214-231.


List of Illustrations


Introduction: The Uses of a National Museum

1. Genealogies

2. Measures of Worth

3. Collecting the Ruins of Palenque

4. Modes of Display

5. José Fernando Ramírez, Keeper of the Archive

6. Whose Museum?

Epilogue: The Invention of Mexican Antiquities




Informations pratiques

  • Éditeur : Lincoln NE ; London : University of Nebraska Press
  • Date de parution : 2017
  • Description matérielle : 1 vol. (xiii-327 p.) : ill., couv. ill. ; 23 cm
  • Collection : (The Mexican Experience Series).
  • Annexe(s) : Notes bibliogr. Bibliogr. p. 289-310. Index
  • ISBN 978-1-4962-0337-3 (br.). – ISBN 978-0-8032-9689-3 (rel.). – ISBN 978-1-4962-0395-3 (epub). – ISBN 978-1-4962-0397-7 (pdf)
  • EAN 9781496203373


  • Absent à la BnF (en 2022)
  • AUBERVILLIERS-Campus Condorcet
  • PARIS-BIS, Fonds général
  • PARIS-Médiathèque MQB

Citer ce billet
Olivier Jacquot (2023, 3 mars). Parution : From idols to antiquity : forging the National Museum of Mexico (1825-1867). Amoxcalli. Consulté le 29 mai 2024, à l’adresse

Olivier Jacquot

Chargé de collections : manuscrits des fonds américains, Service des manuscrits ORientaux (SOR), département des Manuscrits (MSS), Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

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