Church, Coapiaxtla

Accession Number

Church, Coapiaxtla

Paul Strand

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1933, printed 1967

Medium & Support
photogravure on paper

15 3/4 in x 12 3/8 in (40 cm x 31.4 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Philip C. Davis through the Friends of the Museum of Art

Subject matter
This photograph represents a view of a church in Coapiaxtla. Strand views the church façade through its entrance gate. The arch of the entrance is repeated in the dark arch leading into the church, illustrating Strand's continued interest in the formal play of shapes. The cross atop the entrance is cropped out of frame. The sides of the entrance are framed by the large, almost life-size sculptures of saints that sit atop the square pillars. The church is illuminated by a bright light that shines on the gate and through it, onto the building behind it. The result is intense cast shadows, and a strange, dark night sky in the higher background. 

This photograph is from Paul Strand's The Mexican Portfolio published in 1967 by Paul Strand. The portfolio consists of a series of 20 images depicting Mexico's people, architecture, landscape, and churches. It was first published in 1940 under the name Photographs of Mexico, and reprinted under Strand's supervision in 1967 as The Mexican Portfolio.

Physical Description
This image depicts a view of a church in Mexico. Light illuminates and silhouettes the structure against a dark sky.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
cast shadows
churches (buildings)
modern and contemporary art

10 Related Resources

Architecture in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
Art of interest to Judaic Studies
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Christian Churches
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Race, Gender, Class, and American Identity
(Part of 11 Learning Collections)
Religious Buildings
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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