Maite Barragán is Assistant Professor of Art History at Albright College. Her research focuses on the role of visual and popular cultures in identity formation in Spain and the Americas. She is currently working on her book, Modern Traditions: Visual Culture of Madrid 1923–1939, which examines the use and politicization of local traditions by the artists of Madrid’s avant-garde.
In February 1928, the popular magazine Estampa published an unassuming centerfold photograph of a large group of people strolling through Madrid. The jovial crowd pictured is so large that they take over the sidewalk and spill into the avenue (fig. 1). At the center of the image, cheerful female dressmakers walk with synchronized steps. Nearby pedestrians take note of the group’s energetic display for the photographer and pause to look at them.