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Octavio Medellin papers, circa 1935-circa 1979

Medellin, Octavio, 1907 or 1908-1999

Collection Information

Size: 3.6 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter, sculptor, and educator Octavio Medellin measure 3.6 linear feet and date from circa 1935 to circa 1979. The collection is comprised of correspondence with Carlos Mérida, Stanley Marcus, Lucy Maverick, Bess Hubbard, Xavier Gonzalez, and others; commission files for projects in Texas; professional files that include notes, biographical essays, and material for the Medellin School of Sculpture, Mendocino Art Center, International Institute of Arts and Letters, and the San Antonio Religious Show; printed and documentary materials consisting of an art reproduction, booklets, exhibition catalogs, magazines and yearbooks, and video recordings of Swank in the Arts; and photographic materials of Medellin, his studio, family and friends, travel in Mexico, his students, and works of art.

Biographical/Historical Note

Octavio Medellin (1907-1999) was a painter, sculptor, and educator in Dallas, Texas. Medellin was born in Matehuala, Mexico to parents of Otomi heritage. His family moved to San Antonio, Texas when he was eight years old and he became a citizen of the U.S. in 1939. Medellin attended the San Antonio Art School with classmate Xavier Gonzalez and studied with José Arpa. He also studied at the Chicago Art Institute for a short time. Medellin returned to Mexico in order to study the arts, culture, and history of the country and was greatly influenced by the Mayan and Toltec ruins and artifacts he saw there. He returned to San Antonio in 1931 where he taught at the Witte Museum. Under the sponsorship of Lucy Maverick, an artist he met at La Villita Art Gallery who was involved in the historic preservation of San Antonio, Medellin returned to Mexico a few years later to visit the Yucatan region of the country. In 1966, Medellin opened the Medellin School of Sculpture that is now the Creative Arts Center of Dallas. He also taught at North Texas State University and the Dallas Museum of Art. He completed numerous commissions in the state of Texas including a monument at Calvary Hill Cemetery, a sculpture for the Houston Police Administration, mosaics and carvings for St. Andrew's Catholic Church and St. Bernard Catholic Church, and decorations for the sanctuary in Temple Emanu-el.

Provenance

The collection was donated from 1981 to 1983 by Octavio Medellin.

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Funding

The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.