José Guadalupe Posada
José Guadalupe Posada, Calaveras del Montón (Ordinary Skeletons), 2002, reproduction of original newsprint from 1919
José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) was a printmaker and engraver, who lived and worked in a period of Mexican history characterized by social and political upheaval. In 1888, he moved to Mexico City, where he quickly established himself and created some of his most important work. Posada illustrated historic scenes, board games and commercial items, religious images, various books and newspapers.
He is most famous for his use of calaveras (depictions of skulls and skeletons) to satirize and mock the corruption of the wealthy and political elite. La Calavera Catrina (Skull of the female dandy), his most iconic image, was created in 1910 at the start of the Mexican Revolution. The image shows a grinning skeleton wearing a women’s feathered hat; pointing out that death comes to everyone, even those in the upper class.
This exhibition includes sixteen reproductions of his prints, from the GVSU Print and Drawing Cabinet. The prints were purchased in 2002 from the family of Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, who printed them using the original plates and press.
José Guadalupe Posada, El Pantean de las Pelonas (The Pantheon Crypt of the Bold Headed Women), 2018, reproduction of original newsprint from 1924
José Guadalupe Posada, Calavera de Don Quijote (Don Quixote’s Skull), 2004, reproduction of a restrike print
José Guadalupe Posada, Calavera Tapatia (A Skeleton from Guadalajara), 2004, reproduction of restrike print
View additional artwork by José Guadalupe Posada in the GVSU Online Collection
José Guadalupe Posada, Aqui Esta Calavera Del Editor Popular A. Vanegas Arroyd (detail), 2019, reproduction of original newsprint
Location and Hours
November 1, 2019 - February 28, 2020
West Wall Gallery
301 Fulton St W
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Gallery hours are reflective of building location, including changes made due to semester, holiday, or campus-wide event.
July 12 – October 25, 2019
Kirkhof Center Gallery
Russel H. Kirkhof Center
1 North Campus Dr.
Allendale, MI 49401
For special accommodation, please call:
For exhibition details and media inquires, please email:
Joel Zwart, Curator of Exhibitions