The mural paintings of the Secretaría de Educación Pública
The "SEP" (Public Education Secretariat), a colourful, mural-covered institution, continues the work of Vasconcelos, its founder: to help inform and educate the country.
Hundreds of murals!
Two hundred murals by the renowned Diego Rivera and by other artists, like Jean Charlot and Amado de la Cueva, decorate the two courtyards of the Secretaría de Educación Pública. An office-museum that lets the visitor enjoy the paintings while learning about the Mexican Revolution and the daily life of Mexicans at the turn of the (twentieth) century. There is a total of three storeys covered by the vibrant colours typical of Rivera's work. On the first floor, Rivera decided to represent the various regions of the country, while the second, smaller floor, he devoted to the arts, the sciences and intellectual work. Created between 1923 and 1928, the murals are merely the cherry on top of this colonial building, which currently houses the Biblioteca Iberoamericana (Ibero-American Library). The SEP, as Mexicans call it, was founded in 1921, on the initiative of José Vasconcelos, who envisioned it as being a comprehensive body for education, which promoted rural literacy campaigns, libraries and the creation of cultural institutions. Vasconcelos, who realised that it was not easy to educate an impoverished, illiterate population, decided to enrol the help of the great artists of his time, to offer a vision of a new Mexico, proud of its national identity.