John Gast, Manifest Destiny, 1872

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been rescheduled from its original date of August 12 to September 1. Registration is now open for our new date.

6:30–7:30 pm | FREE | Register now through Zoom

Created in a year-long partnership with Artes de México en Utah, the UMFA presents a unique series of classes designed to explore Mexican history through art. The series consists of three sessions in June, July, and August, each with a unique artistic focus. Taught by Susan Vogel, Fanny Guadalupe Blauer, and James Courage Singer, the final lesson in August will focus on Manifest Destiny.

During the nineteenth century, the belief that the United States had a divine obligation to expand democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent emerged as the driving force for settlers in the U.S. to move westward, spreading their traditions and beliefs. The iconic painting American Progress by John Gast (1872) depicts the authority of continental acquisition by the United States government. In this presentation we explore, through art, how Manifest Destiny has shaped different perceptions in the U.S. and in Mexico.

Tune in to the whole series from home this summer!


Susan Vogel is a freelance writer, journalist and attorney. She holds a B.A. in English from San Francisco State University and a J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. During college she studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México City. In 1990, she received a grant from Utah Humanities to research Utah-born Mexican muralist Pablo O’Higgins (nee Paul Higgins). It resulted in the first English language biography about the artist, Becoming Pablo O’Higgins (2010). In 2010, after seeing the UMFA’s exhibit Artes de México and assisting with its companion exhibit about O’Higgins, Susan, along with Tina Misrachi Martin, daughter of Diego Rivera’s art dealer, Alberto Misrachi, and architect Bernardo Flores-Sahagún co-founded the nonprofit Artes de México en Utah in the UMFA café.    

A native of Mexico and graduate of the Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Fanny Guadalupe Blauer has worked as an accountant in Mexico and the US. She is Board Chair of Artes de Mexico en Utah and a passionate presenter of cultural workshops. She works as community liaison at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Fanny recently earned an Anthropology of Art diploma from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of Social Anthropology.

James Courage Singer (Diné/Navajo) is a Diversity Fellow in Sociology and Ethnic Studies at Salt Lake Community College and a Ph.D. student at Utah State University in the sociology program. His research is concerned with social mobility. James is an advocate for indigenous peoples and the environment.


This series of classes is funded by Art Bridges, with additional support from the Center for Latin American Studies.

Art Bridges

Center for Latin American Studies

Created in partnership with  Artes de México en Utah, Utah Humanities, and Salt Lake Public Library.

Artes de Mexico en Utah


John Gast (American, 1842–1896), American Progress, 1872, oil on canvas, 11 1/2 x 15 3/4 in, Autry Museum of the American West.
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) is funded in part by Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP).
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