Hidden in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, is a modernist mural painting that stands as a testament to one of the essential artistic vanguards of the 20th century, Latin American muralism.
You may have heard of at least two of the most remarkable Mexican artists of this wave, Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. However, in the southern part of the continent, there was another genius: an Ecuadorian artist, and later a New Yorker, named Camilo Egas.
Egas was the former director of the art department at The New School in New York, and one of the most recognized artists in the city during the first half of the 20th century. He painted “Ecuadorian Festival” in 1933. This mural is a true treasure, as it portrays a popular Latin American festival in which indigenous people dance while using masks and wear thematic clothes. The ritual is accompanied by the energy of the traditional Andean music as they offer tribute to the Sun god or the Mother Earth. It’s a true and powerful portrait of a pagan celebration from Ecuador.
The peculiarity of this mural is that it almost disappeared. For decades, it was relegated to one of the storage rooms of the university. Finally, the mural was rescued, restored, and put on display. Now, you can have the pleasure of seeing it hanging on one of the walls at the entrance of the New School building on West 12th Street in Manhattan.
Know Before You Go
The New School has several buildings around the city. Head into the one on 66 West 12th Street, the University Learning Center, and the mural is on the wall near the entrance. You can't miss it.