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Mexico at the Hour of Combat

The Mexican Revolution, the first major revolution of the twentieth century, intertwined with photography attracted worldwide attention. Its visual documentation was made possible by Sabino Osuna who played a crucial role in not only photographing the different phases of the Mexican Revolution, but he also captured portraits of prominent persons involved in it.  The focus of this volume is Osuna’s special collection, 427 images, currently held in Special Collections in the Rivera Library of the University of California, Riverside.

$40.00

Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna’s Photographs of the Mexican Revolution
edited by Ronald Chilcote
2012, 10 1/2” x 11 1/4”, 120 pages, 103 photographs
ISBN: 978097284481

The Mexican Revolution, the first major revolution of the twentieth century, intertwined with photography attracted worldwide attention. Its visual documentation was made possible by Sabino Osuna who played a crucial role in not only photographing the different phases of the Mexican Revolution, but he also captured portraits of prominent persons involved in it. The focus of this volume is Osuna’s special collection, 427 images, currently held in Special Collections in the Rivera Library of the University of California, Riverside.

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The Sabino Osuna Collection was acquired for the UC Riverside Library in January 1986. Shortly after its acquisition, the Committee of Latin American Studies decided to publish a selection of Osuna’s photographs along with essays about them. However, it was unable to gather the necessary support for its publication. Nevertheless, we have successfully achieved our objective to publish with the essential support of a number of institutions and individuals. Mexico at the Hour of Combat depicts the history of the Mexican Revolutionary era through the use of photography. The Osuna images highlight the impact of the Revolution and the importance of the personalities of the dominant class, but most importantly; the images abstractly reveal the Mexican conception of their national identity.

The book’s publication was facilitated through the collaborative financial and human support of the UC Riverside Library; the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States; the bimonthly journal Latin American Perspectives; the independent nonprofit Laguna Wilderness Press; the Culver Center for the Arts; and the Sweeney Art Gallery.
The book includes essays about Osuna and his photographs by Peter Briscoe, Ronald Chilcote, Carlos Cortés, Georg Gugelberger, Eliud Martinez, and Tyler Stallings.

  • 2012, 10 1/2” x 11 1/4”, 120 pages, 103 photographs
  • ISBN: 978097284481
  • Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna’s Photographs of the Mexican Revolution

 


ENDORSEMENTS

 

“The Sabino Osuna Collection is powerful testimony to the incidents of the armed struggle in the Valley of Mexico, the epicenter of political change, but, more important, it narrates the daily affairs of the different social classes in and around Mexico City. This is what makes the book so powerful; there is an eerie appeal in the images of all these men and women going about their daily lives while their world was about to change irreversibly.”

Exequiel Ezcurra Director
UC MEXUS


“Osuna’s striking pictures of key actors and events of the revolutionary period amplify our vision of the formative years of modern Mexico. Beautifully printed here, the photographs are accompanied by clear, straightforward essays that contextualize them in terms of the present day meaning of the Mexican Revolution and the photographic culture of early-twentieth-century Mexico. Mexico at the Hour of Combat is an important historical document in its own right and a fitting tribute by the University of California, Riverside, to the Revolution’s centenary.”

Jan Rus Associate Managing Editor
Latin American Perspectives


“The poignant work of the photographer Sabino Osuna, which this book honors and celebrates, tell the story of the Mexican Revolution in a way that words alone could not. On the occasion of the collection’s publication, it is fitting to call attention to the efforts of two prime movers: Ronald H. Chilcote, Professor Emeritus of Economics, who was persistent in seeking funding over the years, and Peter Briscoe, former Associate University Librarian for Collections, who acquired the photographs on behalf of the University of California, Riverside, Libraries in 1986.”

Ruth M Jackson, Ph. D. University Librarian
University of California, Riverside, Libraries

7 reviews for Mexico at the Hour of Combat

La Prensa - Mexico at the Hour of Combat Review

La Prensa – Mexico at the Hour of Combat Review

En la exhibición se observarán rostros de personas casi siempre serias, muchos mirando directamente a la cámara, lo cual se puede explicar por el pesado equipo que se utilizaba en ese entonces, se requería tiempo para colocar la cámara.
Las fotos captan una gran variedad de escenas: soldados, mujeres, niños, alguno de ellos en uniforme militar, pero también hombres en trajes ejecutivos, unos luchando y otros quizás utilizando sus influencias para defender sus intereses.

La Prensa – Mexico at the Hour of Combat Review.pdf

UCR Magazine

UCR Magazine

Sabino Osuna, a skilled commercial photographer, captured striking images of the first major revolution of the 20th century with his documentation of the Mexican Revolution.

UCR Magazine – Mexico at the Hour of Combat Review.pdf

Chasqui Revista de Literatura Latinoamericana

Chasqui Revista de Literatura Latinoamericana

Chilcote’s volume presents what is likely to stand as complementary and more scholarly photographic dossier than the Leighton one. This is because the quality of reproduction is immeasurable better alongside either the 1943 or the 1971 edition of Brenner’s book, because 427 images are included (all from glass-plate and firm negatives made during the period of the Revolution), and because they are all clearly attributable to one individual, Sabino Osuna. […] Osuna’s work is almost globally the work of a visual artist, and the plates deserve analysis as photographic texts whose importance goes considerably beyond their sociohistorical documentary nature.

Chasqui Revista de Literatura Latinoamericana – Mexico at the Hour of Combat Review.pdf

Orange County Register

Orange County Register

“Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna’s Photographs of the Mexican Revolution” is what you would expect from a University – a meticulously crafted exhibition with an excellent scholarly publication published by Laguna Wilderness Press. It has five essays from different perspectives about the work of an unknown photographer during an important historical moment. The essays in the catalogue, especially “The Mexican Revolution in U.S. Film” by Carlos E. Cortes, anchor the images in a coherent narrative that spells out the history of the revolution, which is complex.

Orange County Register – Mexico at the Hour of Combat Book & Exhibit Review.pdf

Orange County Register – MHC Book & Exhibit Review

Adam David Morton website - June 23, 2013

Adam David Morton website – June 23, 2013

Perhaps most illuminating, though, is Tyler Stallings essay in the 118-page book that traces how Sabino Osuna’s work is a new chapter in the history of war photography. As Artistic Director at the Culver Center of the Arts and Director of the Sweeny Art Galley at UC, Riverside, Tyler Stallings traces how the photographs represent a transition from portraitism through to photojournalism. For example, he encourages the reader to compare the staging of composed portraits constrained by heavy equipment (such as the image of Fransciso ‘Pancho’ Villa dismounting his horse, above) to the greater mobility enabled by the use of the German single-lens reflex Graflex camera and reflected in the street scenes of battle (such as the scene of troops known as Felicistas, affiliated to Félix Díaz, firing on rebels, immediately above). In this image, states Stallings, ‘violence is everywhere, at every turn, on the x or the y axis of life in the capital city’.

Adam David Morton website – June 23, 2013
For the Desk Drawer – Mexico at the Hour of Combat Review.pdf

Textos Híbridos Revista de Estudios Sobre la Crónica Latinoamericana - July 2013 Issue

Textos Híbridos Revista de Estudios Sobre la Crónica Latinoamericana – July 2013 Issue

La edición fascina tanto a aquel que desea conocer y disfrutar las imágenes como a aquellos que buscan un texto informativo con rigor académico. El libro cumple con la expectativa de una edición libresca que intenta narrar co espectacularidad gestas históricas. Esto se logra a través de una selección efectiva de fotografías y formatos que crean dramatismo y agilidad en el montaje. Además de la introducción de Chilcote, el libro está organizado en cuatro portafolios: La revolución maderista, La decena trágica, Escenas revolucionarias y Retratos revolucionarios. Tyler Stallings, Carlos E. Cortés y Georg M. Gugelberger escriben los ensayos que acompañan a la colección. Al final del libro se incluye el acervo completo de Sabino Osuna, con un texto de Peter Briscoe e imágenes en formato miniatura y una breve descripción de cada una.

Textos Híbridos Revista de Estudios Sobre la Crónica Latinoamericana – July 2013 Issue
Textos Hibridos – Mexico at the Hour of Combat Review.pdf

OC Register - Sharpening A View of Revolution

OC Register – Sharpening A View of Revolution

“The clear photos of Mexico at the Hour of Combat”

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