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April 25, 2001


Click on the photos below to view or download high-resolution .jpg versions.


Arthur W. Pope and friends on a Raymond vacation trip to Mexico, 1891 Pan Am. Excursion on Metlac bridge The Zocalo, City of Mexico
Baths at Aquas Calientes, Mexico Ferro Carrill Pachuca, Zacualtipan Y Tampico tender with rear of engine #2 "Tulancinco" and passenger car with passengers

DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University's DeGolyer Library has a new exhibit, "Destination México: A Foreign Land a Step Away," which depicts the rise of U.S. tourism to Mexico from the 1880s through the 1950s. Brimming with albums, maps, photographs, brochures, posters, postcards, guide books and more, the exhibit spans the growth of tourism from the railroad age to the jet age.

"This is the first major exhibition with a catalogue to explore multiple aspects of tourism to Mexico," said David Farmer, director of SMU's DeGolyer Library. "The exhibit has sections including personal albums from different decades, itineraries of organized tours and the personal writing of men and women travelers. It features photographs by tourists as well as by commercial photographers like C.B. Waite, who moved to Mexico in 1896. Waite worked for the Mexican government and private businesses, creating images that contributed to the way tourists viewed Mexico.

Attracted by Mexico's proximity, its wonderful climate, and its ancient past, later generations of U.S. tourists began to flock to Acapulco and the Yucatán peninsula. By the 1930s the Mexican government invested heavily in roads. When the Pan American Highway opened, more people began to travel by car than by train, a transition richly illustrated in the exhibit. Creative collaborations by groups on both sides of the border in the 1920s and 1930s fueled the vogue of Mexico and things Mexican. Summer school programs, art shows, concerts, photography exhibits and literary works created bonds of common interest between Mexicans and Americans.

"'Destination México' captures the memories of many generations of U.S. tourists as they discovered the wonders and realities of our southern neighbor," said Andrea Boardman, associate director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies and curator of the exhibit. "Through the prism of early tourism, before the arrival of jets and mass tourism, we can see the ways in which citizens of both countries learned from each other." Boardman also worked on the award-winning KERA/PBS series on the U.S.-Mexican War.

The exhibit will remain in the DeGolyer Library until July 30. A 101-page catalogue with color illustrations is available for sale. Library hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Group presentations are available by special request. For more information, contact Andrea Boardman at (214) 768-1233 or by email at

Media note: Andrea Boardman is bilingual in English and Spanish.