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Pancho Villa and friends on film in Mexico City.

When revolution crumbled the dictatorial reign of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz in 1910, the country's pioneer photographers had their box cameras, bulb releases, and glass plates ready. From their sepia-toned pictures stare Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and many rebels of lesser renown. Mexico City visitors interested in history and photography can find a poignant record of the era at the Museo Nacional de la Revolucion and at a gallery in the Zona Rosa. Both have opened in the past two years just off the Paseo de la Reforma.

The museum is beneath the Monumento a la Revolucion in the Plaza de la Republica. Artifacts, enlarged photographs, and sound tracks evoke the tumultuous halfcentury from 1867, when Emperor Maximilian was overthrown and Benito Juirez restored the republic, through Diaz's 1877 takeover with arms and the appearance of an election, to the revolution itself and Francisco Madero's attempt to establish democracy

Signs are in Spanish, but the images cross language barriers. Free, the museum is open 9 to 5 Tuesdays through Fridays.

Some of the museum's images were made by Augustin Casasola. His grandchildren maintain a collection of what have been called Mexico's most treasured historical photographs. See the work-as well as antique camera equipment-inside Bazar de Fotografia Casasola at Calle Praga 16. Genteel scenes of 1910 Mexico Citychildren in Victorian dress feeding swans in Chapultepec Park, top-hatted carriage drivers crossing the tree-shaded Zocalo-contrast with grim revolutionary tableaus of, amongother things, rebel and government soldiers leaving loved ones, by foot or horseback or train. Gallery hours are 10:30 to 2 and 4 to 6 weekdays. Reproductions of Casasola's works cost less than $10.
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Title Annotation:Museo Nacional de la Revolucion, Zona Rosa, Mexico
Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1989
Words:272
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