University of Arizona

                                           In preparation for the Tucson Festival of Books (March 9 & 10), Special Collections will be closed on Friday, March 8th

Southwest Folklore Center Magdalena de Kino painted glass collection

Specimens of reverse painting on glass backed with tinfoil and either cardboard or tin. The majority of the specimens are crosses, rectangular pieces or boxes. Some pieces incorporate a commercially printed illustration of a saint into the design. All pieces have been collected in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, Mexico, during the city's annual festival honoring its patron saint, San Francisco. Also included in the collection are unpainted glass boxes containing statuettes of San Francisco, a number of unfinished pieces, a hand-drawn template, and several comparison pieces from other cultural traditions. The collection also includes photographs of artisans and Magdalena de Kino festival scenes.

The collection consists of examples of reverse painting on glass objects, usually with tin borders, decorative trim or frames. The collection includes crosses; pieces intended for wall hanging; boxes and examples of unfinished pieces; and pieces from cultural traditions outside the Magdalena de Kino, Mexico, area. The pieces in this collection represent the work of itinerant artisans known as pajareros, or birdcatchers, from Magdalena de Kino, Mexico, who make and sell them at the annual festival of San Francisco in Magdalena de Kino, Mexico. The major forms of these pieces are decorative crosses, rectangular pieces intended for wall hanging, and decorative boxes. The rectangular pieces usually include a clear area in the glass for the inclusion of an illustration, either supplied by the artist, or for the purchaser to customize. The collection also includes clear glass boxes with tin frames containing the likeness of San Francisco, the patron saint of Magdalena de Kino. The collection includes photographs of painted glass artisans, scenes from the festival of San Francisco, and scenery from the surrounding Sonoran countryside.

Artists represented in the collection include Francisco, Gregoria and Guadelupe Guttierez; Anastacio, Eduardo, Jesús, Matilde and Martín León; Álvaro and Catalina Moreno; Olga Ruiz; and members of the Francisco Silva family. The collection does not necessarily represent a complete sample of all styles of art for sale in any given year. 

This guide was previously titled SWF 003.