An oasis of calm in the midst of a bustling metropolis, the Instituto Cultural Cabañas offers harried travelers, as well as local residents, an opportunity to restore their souls in the presence of great works of art.
The magnificent frescoes of José Clemente Orozco are an invitation to introspection, even though some of the scenes are unsettling.
“[Orozco] did not paint everlasting certainties,” the brochure for visitors explains; rather, “he painted the anxiety for certitude.”
Orozco’s unflinching portrayal of the subjugation of México’s indigenous peoples to the Spanish conquistadores reminds us of the presence of evil in the world.
But to find these disturbing frescoes painted on the walls and ceiling of what was once the chapel of an orphanage gives us the hope that good can overcome evil.
Wander through the hallways and cloisters. Visit the various art exhibits. Pause to sit for a while on one of the many benches provided for visitors.
Explore the courtyards, and let your soul be soothed by the sound of water flowing from fountains.
Admire the neo-classical architecture of this structure that was completed in 1810, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
And above all give thanks that a place of peace and serenity still stands in the turbulent opening decades of the 21st century.
in hidden places
reading summer’s clear scripture—
Text and photo © 2016 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved