The culture in Mexico has been the product of large public and private efforts. In the sponsorship and preservation of our artists has been decisive characters without whom much has been lost. Within these figures, someone who occupied a prominent place in the twentieth century was Dolores Olmedo, whose talent and sensitivity enabled him to understand, rather than many, the value of the work of two main icons of Mexico today: Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
Maria Dolores Olmedo and the Patiño Suarez was born in Tacubaya, Mexico City, on December 14, 1908, on the eve of the Mexican Revolution. In his youth, he studied law, but ended up pursuing a career in the Academy of San Carlos.However, the meeting that determined his approach to art-and, somehow, it marked his fate is recorded in 1928, when he meets Diego Rivera at the Ministry of Education. Rivera made 26 or 27 drawings Olmedo nude, as she remembered.
It is at that time also knows Howard Phillips Victorian upbringing British journalist for working for the magazine Mexican Life-, whom he married in 1935. By the early forties, Lola Olmedo was already the mother of four children: Alfredo, Irene Eduardo and Carlos. The couple separated in 1948, but continued related to the death of Howard.
It is worth remembering that since very young, lived with intellectuals of that time: the group of poets Contemporaries – Salvador Novo and Xavier Villaurrutia, writers like Jaime Torres Bodet; philosophers including Jose Vasconcelos and Antonio Caso were counted; musicians like Julian Carrillo, Luis Sandi, Manuel M. Ponce and Carlos Chavez, who was a pupil of his mother and later his schoolmaster, politicians like Narciso Bassols and painters Joaquín Clausell, Alfredo Ramos Martínez and Germán Gedovius.
With a natural knack for business, Dolores Olmedo came to dabble in the construction industry, acquiring, one at a time, 40 small brick kilns in the area of Naucalpan. His main competition was Heriberto Pagelson, who was in the same area, an industry where lightweight blocks, very common material were made in the constructions of those years. With time and an extraordinary sense of humor, the rivalry between them became a true friendship that led them to associate and to found a company that bore the name Ceramic Industry Navy. This business not only transforms in a large company, but also occupies a place of importance in the construction industry. In the beginning, under the direction of Olmedo and Pagelson, the company sold the main construction material of the country. The effort would result in the formation of a new company: Company Real Estate and Construction, SA (CICSA) which became one of the leading contracting companies serving the Federal Government.
Years later, around 1954, after the death of Frida Kahlo, Dolores Olmedo returns to be with Diego Rivera. Together with a group of friends traveling to Janitzio to participate in the Day of the Dead ceremonies that were held in place. This allowed them to resume the old friendship that had arisen over twenty years ago and that will last until the painter’s death. In 1955 and under the tutelage of Diego Rivera, Lola starts to buy works of muralist. At the same time, he was creating a collection of pieces of pre-Columbian art, also guided by the artist himself. In 1955, the work of Frida Kahlo.
On the death of Diego, in 1957, Dona Lola had acquired 50 works by Rivera. The friendship between Olmedo and Rivera translated into a pact of trust, so that, before his death, Diego asked him to take museum Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera-Anahuacalli be done.
During those years, he kept his toils collector and nothing stopped her to keep buying paintings, lots of pre-hispanic pieces, novo-hispanos stews and folk art. In 1972, 800 archaeological pieces had collected meso-americanas. Olmedo also held political and cultural positions and, from them, could make exhibitions of Mexican art inside and outside the country.
His talent for business, his good eye as a collector and determination to enhance the cultural heritage of Mexico took her to get an admirable goal that benefited the Mexican people: the construction of the Museo Dolores Olmedo. Already in 1962, he had acquired the hull of the Hacienda de la Noria, Xochimilco, building dating from the late sixteenth century.Olmedo restored hacienda to make their home and later as a museum bequeath to the people of Mexico.
Thus, the September 17, 1994, Lola opens her home as Dolores Olmedo Museum. In it he exposes all his paintings, prehispanic and popular collection, and also continues the tradition which had already begun in the Anahuacalli and Frida Kahlo museums to place a beautiful offends dead.
Xochimilco people recognize their work, having contributed to the realization of public works in the town, have donated several land for public schools and have carried out the construction of others, so that you still remember fondly.
Dolores Olmedo died on Saturday July 27, 2002, at the age of 93 years. He left the legacy of a promoter of culture in every sense of the word. All things considered, got everything a patron aims to achieve: help art transcend and at the same time transcend himself; helping to perpetuate the work of an artist and perpetuated along with it. Dolores Olmedo had everything I wanted. And along the way, he benefited Mexico as few have done:
“Following the example of my mother, Professor Maria Patiño Suarez Vda. Olmedo, who always told me ‘all you have share it with your fellow’, I leave this house with all my collections of art work product of my life, for enjoyment of the people of Mexico. “