Art and Culture 

The Polemic of Barragán’s Legacy

An Archive and a Diamond

César Cervantes 

Luis Barragán died in 1988, having bequeathed all his personal objects to his friend Óscar Ignacio González, and entrusted another friend, Ignacio Díaz Morales, with the task of deciding what institution to donate his library to. Díaz Morales then set up the Fundación de Arquitectura Tapatía (FAT) with the idea of creating a library of architecture and art. The archives of his practice were left to Raúl Ferrera Torres, friend and last partner, who upon his death in 1992 bequeathed it to his wife, Rosario Uranga.

To understand the events surrounding the controversy of Barragán and his archives, a serious analysis is in order. It seems that as owner and caretaker of the archives and the copyrights attached thereto, Uranga felt threatened. In line with interests and priorities of her family and estate, in 1993 she offered the archives to the Mexican State, to institutions and universities, and to private parties. I don’t know the price she gave, but apparently it fell short of a million dollars (comparable to the value of any regular piece of contemporary art today). No one was interested... [+]

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