The publishing house Vanegas Arroyo

Get to know the work of one of the essential figures in the history of Mexican printing: Antonio Vanegas Arroyo.

By Archivo General de la Nación - México

Archivo General de la Nación

Los Gendarmes by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Born in the city of Puebla and coming from a family dedicated to printing, Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, founded on his arrival in Mexico City one of the most important printers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The printing house that began operating as a bookbinder, ended up as one of the most popular publishers in Mexico. 

Gaceta Callejera (1895) by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The Vanegas Arroyo printing house developed materials with diverse contents such as verses; songbooks; recipe books; riddles; manuals; guides and accounts of daily, social and historical events, among others.

Gran corrida de toros en el jardín del Zócalo de México by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The prints were presented in flyer and booklet formats, which were made with low-cost materials that allowed the copies to be sold at a penny price, managing to position themselves in the tastes of Mexican popular culture. 

Gran corrida de toros en el jardín del Zócalo de México by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Calavera de Canutillo by Estate of Antonio Vanegas ArroyoArchivo General de la Nación - México

The temporality in which the publications of the Vanegas Arroyo printing press circulated was marked by various socio-political events, which ranged from the Porfirista period to the stage of the Mexican Revolution.  In such an epoch the production of the printing presses exploded as the main communication resource. 

Asesinato de Esperanza Gutiérrez "La Malagueña" por María Villa "La Chiquita" by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The production of flyers and booklets had an impact on the different strata of Mexican society, especially in the less favored sector, in which illiteracy predominated. This forced the publications to combine the letters with the image and, in the case of vanegas Arroyo's prints, to make use of the stories  popularly transmitted through oral tradition. 

Asesinato de Esperanza Gutiérrez "La Malagueña" por María Villa "La Chiquita" by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Los ratones tontos y el gato astuto by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Within this combination of narration and graphics emerged the constant collaboration of Guadalupe Posada as the main engraver in the publications of Vanegas Arroyo.  Posada managed to place his graphic as one of the most representative of the time for its critical and satirical style. Thus, Posada was at the height of Manuel Manilla, another of the outstanding engravers who collaborated in these prints.

Por Fingir Espantos (1904) by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Also on the written side, the collaborations of various authors who participated in the elaboration of the multiple collections of booklets stood out, highlighting characters such as Constantino S. Suárez, Arturo Espinoza "Chóforo Vico", Francisco Osácar and Ramón N. Franco, as well as Vanegas Arroyo himself and his son Blas Vanegas.

Versos y canción de los presos de Belén a la Penitenciaria by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Antonio's printing press was always located in houses or premises adapted as workshops in various streets of  the current Historical Center of Mexico City, until he established all his machinery and his home in a building near what was the Penitentiary of Mexico, today the current headquarters of the General Archive of the Nation.

Versos y canción de los presos de Belén a la Penitenciaria by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Reglas para tirar la Baraja Mexicana (1906) by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The operation of the printing press was maintained under the practical craftsmanship of the European workshops where it was common to see an entire family taking care of the various jobs such as coloring,  printing,  sewing and selling the prints. 

La verbena mexicana by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Within the guild of workers dedicated to the printing press it was common to mark the spaces and functions of work of each collaborator as writers, engravers and editors, a situation that prevailed in the Vanegas Arroyo printing press, where there was the autonomy to be able to collaborate for any publisher or in a private capacity, remaining in the workshop trades of cashiers, prensistas,  typographers and printers.

Colección de Himnos Nacionales by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The main formats most printed by Vanegas Arroyo were the flyer, the booklet, the booklet and the book, the first two being  the most distributed. 

¡La huelga en Contreras! by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The flyer was the most used format for prints related to news content such as natural disasters, political and social events, crimes, shootings and events of a religious nature. This sheet was mostly printed on both sides with a size of about 20 cm.  by 30 cm. , vertically.  

El pequeño adivinadorcito by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The booklets that were published in the Vanegas Arroyo printing press ranged from 4 to 16 pages, with a more homogeneous content in the textual, since they were made from the use of verse such as songbooks, guessing games and plays. 

El brindador popular by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Unlike booklets in the form of prose, materials with a more instructive function  were produced, such as manuals,  recipe books and prints dedicated to codes and language, mostly publicados in collections and numbered series. 

El consultorio médico by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The materials edited by Vanegas Arroyo were mostly sold in haberdasheries, miscellaneous and bookstores in Mexico City and various states of the Republic and even in territories of the United States.

Nuestra Señora Santísima:Santa María de Guadalupe by Estate of Antonio Vanegas ArroyoArchivo General de la Nación - México

The publishing house founded by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo had its greatest popularity until 1917, the same year in which the publisher died, passing as a testamentary printer to his son Blas, who was in charge of it for several decades.

Juan soldado (1901) by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and José Guadalupe PosadaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Antonio Vanegas Arroyo transcended thanks to the great acceptance that his work reached within the popular sectors of society, since he knew how to give an innovative format to the texts that were printed inside his publishing house.

Alfabeto fisonómico by Estate of Antonio Vanegas ArroyoArchivo General de la Nación - México

Under this popularity d is that the prints of Vanegas Arroyo subsist beyond the own archive of the publishing house because several collectors and writers were responsible for preserving his work in their private archives.

Grito de la Independencia by Estate of Antonio Vanegas ArroyoArchivo General de la Nación - México

Such is the case of the Spanish writer nationalized Mexican, Felipe Teixidor, who in addition to gathering a large library, gathered an important collection of various documents donde are the prints of Vanegas Arroyo, which were deposited in the General Nation Archive. 

Credits: Story

Documentary references:AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Juego de Lotería", FTX/715.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Los Gendarmes", FTX/545.

AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "¡¡Fatal descarrilamiento del tren de Amecameca!!", FTX/736.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Gran corrida de toros en el jardín del Zócalo de México", FTX/614.

AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Ya la Autoridad echo Garra al Malvado Ignacio Parra", FTX/602.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Calavera de Canutillo", FTX/722.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor "Asesinato de Esperanza Gutiérrez La Malagueña, por María Villa La Chiquita", FTX/611 y 612.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Los ratones tontos y el gato astuto", FTX/517.

AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Por Fingir Espantos", FTX/525.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Versos y canción de los presos de Belén a la Penitenciaria", FTX/686.

AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Reglas para tirar la Baraja Mexicana", FTX/519.

AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, Grabados y texto titulados "La verbena mexicana", FTX/648.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Colección de Himnos Nacionales", FTX/533.

AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "¡La huelga en Contreras!", FTX/620.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "El pequeño adivinadorcito", FTX/511.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "El brindador popular", FTX/510.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "El consultorio médico", FTX/555.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Nuestra Señora Santísima: Santa María de Guadalupe", FTX/718.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Juan soldado", FTX/529.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, "Alfabeto fisonómico", FTX/562.
AGN, Colección Gráfica Felipe Teixidor, Grito de la Independencia, FTX/714.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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