Benson Opens Mexico Anniversary Exhibition

The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection opens an exhibition commemorating the dual anniversaries of Mexico's Independence and Revolution on Thursday, Sept. 16.

"Frente a Frente: The Mexican People in Independence and Revolution, 1810 and 1910" features rare and historical items from the Benson Collection related to the bicentennial anniversary of Mexican independence from Spain and the centennial of the Mexican revolution.

Distinguished Mexico historian Dr. Miguel Soto of the Autonomous University of Mexico, who received his doctor's degree at The University of Texas at Austin, and the Benson Collection's Dr. Michael Hironymous curated the exhibition, which opens with highlights marking the call for independence on Sept. 16, 1810.

Among the items being displayed are the prayer book carried by Catholic priest and army officer José María Morelos on the day he was executed by the Spanish in Ecatepec, an 1821 broadside that outlines the Plan de Iguala proposed by Agustín de Iturbide and original photographs and publications from the Independence centenario celebrations 100 years ago in Mexico City. The collection of selected rare books, prints, photographs and manuscripts details historical events from Mexican independence and the Mexican revolution begun in 1910.

The Benson Collection was recently honored by the government of Mexico City with the prestigious Medalla 1808 award for its contributions to the study of Mexican history.

"The Benson Collection, widely regarded as one of the important resources to the history and culture of Mexico, is pleased to commemorate these two watershed eras by showcasing unique items from its rare books and manuscripts holdings," says Hironymous. "We welcome this special opportunity to share some of our treasures with those on The University of Texas at Austin campus and in the local community interested in the formative history of our southern neighbor."

A public opening reception will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, with refreshments provided by El Naranjo. RSVPs may be sent to or by calling 512-495-4363.

"Frente a Frente" will be open to visitors Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays 1-5 p.m., and Sundays, 2-6 p.m.