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Wright and The Americas: Architecture, Art and Design in Mexico

February 12-19, 2020


Daily Itinerary (subject to change)

Day 1: Wednesday, February 12
Arrive in Mexico City and transfer by private vehicle to our elegant design hotel, conveniently located in the fashionable Polanco neighborhood. Meet your fellow travelers and Frank Lloyd Wright tour leaders and depart for the National Museum of Anthropology, designed in 1964 by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Rafael Mijares Alcérreca. The monumental building surrounds a vast courtyard and pond that is sheltered by a soaring, suspended concrete “umbrella”—a feat of ingenious engineering. Enjoy a guided tour of select Pre-Columbian galleries. Return to the hotel for a lecture by Dr. Monica Silva about Frank Lloyd Wright and Mexican Architecture. Then, toast the start of our adventure during a welcome dinner created by one of Mexico’s top chefs.
Las Alcobas, D

Day 2: Thursday, February 13
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for a full day tour of Mexico City. We start in the city’s historic center, full of buildings from the 15th to 19th centuries in a wide variety of styles. Tour the Palace of Fine Arts (1902), whose Neoclassical exterior gives way to a uniquely Mexican Art Deco interior. See the famed magnificent Tiffany Studios glass “curtain,” the only one of its type in the world; and murals by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco, Rufino Tamayo and more. Explore the nearby post office (1904) and Los Azulejos before lunch at a historic restaurant featuring regional Mexican cuisine. In the afternoon, explore the Zocaló main square, which boasts the National Palace (featuring murals by Diego Rivera depicting the history of Mexico), and a view of Templo Mayor, an Aztec ruin that was once the center of its vast capital Tenochtitlan. Templo Mayor was mostly destroyed by Spanish conquerors, who used the stones to build the adjacent Metropolitan Cathedral. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure. The neighborhood boasts dozens of casual and fine dining options within walking distance of the hotel.
Las Alcobas, B L

Day 3: Friday, February 14
Valentine’s Day is arguably more popular in Mexico than the USA, and so we devote this day to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, two of the most important figures in Mexico’s modern history. Their fascinating relationship lasted a lifetime and inspired some of the country’s most iconic modern art. Dr. Silva joins us again at the Anahuacalli Museum, designed by Diego Rivera, who consulted with Frank Lloyd Wright on its creation, and completed by his friend Juan O’ Gorman upon Rivera’s death. Inspired by Fallingwater, where he and Frida visited the Kaufmanns in 1929, the hulking, lava stone structure bears little resemblance to Wright’s masterpiece, but the result is an impressive structure that houses Rivera’s vast collection of Pre-Columbian art. Next, visit the rationalist home/studios of Kahlo and Rivera designed by Juan O’Gorman, as well as the architect’s own studio/home next door. Relax during an al fresco late lunch in an old hacienda before moving on to UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, for a walking tour of select buildings. Our day ends with an exclusive, after-hours visit to the Museo Frida Kahlo. Known as the “Blue House,” so named for the vibrant color of Kahlo’s colonial family home, this immensely popular landmark features a luxurious courtyard garden and a fine collection of objects, photographs and paintings. The addition designed by O’Gorman includes Frida’s studio and an adjacent small and large bedroom. Together they tell the story of her painful and fascinating life. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure. Dinner reservations, many of which can be made online, are recommended on this popular holiday.
Las Alcobas, B L

Day 4: Saturday, February 15
After breakfast, start the day with a VIP visit to the home and studio of Luis Barragán, the father of Mexican Modernism, who said “My house is my refuge, an emotional piece of architecture, not a cold piece of convenience.” Then, enjoy an exclusive visit to his last commission, the privately-owned Casa Gilardi. A lover of nature, Barragán designed the house around a tree, and the result is a poetic expression of light and color, with surprises at every turn. We are invited by the owners to enjoy the house freely, followed by a special lunch. The afternoon is devoted to contemporary architecture, including two museums; Soumaya and Jumex. Return to the hotel to rest before a group dinner.
Las Alcobas, B L D

Day 5: Sunday, February 16
After breakfast, take a drive to the countryside southwest of Cuernavaca for an exploration of the talud (sloping exterior wall) structures at Xochicalco, an urban center that flourished from the 6th to 9th centuries. Wright used the talud at Taliesin West, and the Temple of Feathered Serpent bears a striking resemblance to its facades. On the way back to Mexico City, stop for a late lunch at one of Cuernavaca’s most famous restaurants. Return to the hotel by late afternoon to pack for tomorrow’s flight and bid farewell to Mexico City.
Las Alcobas, B L

Day 6: Monday, February 17
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our group flight to the Yucatán Peninsula. Upon arrival in Mérida, take a short tour of the city, and have lunch. Then transfer to our rustic lodge situated next to the ruins of Uxmal. Dinner is at leisure before enjoying a sound and light show at the ruins.
Lodge at Uxmal, B L

Day 7: Tuesday, February 18
Wake early for a sunrise visit to Uxmal, the temple complex that shows the most resemblance to Wright’s concrete and textile block houses. Built during the Late Classic period of the Maya state (850-925), the pyramid and buildings are well-preserved amid a scenic, peaceful setting. Our timing allows for the best light and coolest temperatures. Return to the hotel for a Mayan breakfast. Then, visit the ruins of Kabah and Sayil to see the integration of the Puuc Maya style. You will see geometric motifs that bear striking similarities to the textile blocks at Ennis House, Millard House and others. Return to the hotel, where we enjoy a farewell dinner under the stars, featuring Mayan “pib” cuisine—a traditional cooking method using pits in the ground.
Lodge at Uxmal, B D

Day 8: Wednesday, February 19
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay. Private transfers are included.

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