Humanities Center Gallery

Detail of broadside by Posada - with a bunch of indiscernible Spanish text.

Political Skeletons: The Art and Afterlife of José Guadalupe Posada

October 28 – December 13, 2019

Born in Mexico in 1852, José Guadalupe Posada is regarded as the "father of Mexican printmaking," celebrated for his bitingly satirical prints. His eye-catching engravings appeared on broadsides—posters printed on cheap paper for Day of the Dead celebrations—that skewered the ruling class, commented on current events, and drew on Mexico’s history and folklore. Posada became identified with the calavera, the skull or skeleton that mocked earthly vanities. After Posada’s death in 1913, his form of “art for the people” exerted a strong influence on socially-conscious artists in Mexico and abroad. Today, artists and printmakers continue to pay homage to Posada—and especially his calaveras—in combining subversive social commentary with graphic power and invention. 

Image: José Guadalupe Posada, La Calavera Argüendera (detail), c. 1890 – 1913, type-metal engraving and zinc etching, Print Collection, University of San Diego


Gallery Hours:

Monday – Friday: Noon – 5:00 p.m.
Closed university holidays:
Nov. 27-29


Free to attend. 


Humanities Center, Serra Hall 200
Parking and Directions


Opening Reception

Monday, October 28
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Artistic Expression and the Materiality of Death
Reception immediately to follow.
Humanities Center, Saints Tekakwitha and Serra Hall 200

Reservations are not required for this event.