Born: 1899, Oaxaca, Mexico. Death; Mexico City, 1991. Capital figure in the panorama of twentieth-century Mexican painting, Rufino Tamayo was one of the first Latin American artists who, along with the representatives of the well-known "group of three" (Rivera, Siqueiros and Orozco), reached an authentically international relief and diffusion.
Education: After attending night painting classes, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts of Mexico in 1917, leaving a few months later to work as a self-taught student.
Experience: In 1921 he left school and was employed as a draftsman in the ethnographic department of the National Museum of Archeology, History and Ethnography, until 1926. He was present making drawings of popular art and pre-Hispanic pieces. At the same time he taught for the Ministry of Public Education. In 1928, once he returned from his American adventure in New York, he served as a professor at the National School of Fine Arts and, in 1932, he was appointed director of the Department of Plastic Arts of the Ministry of Public Education. In 1938 he received and accepted an offer to teach at the Dalton School of Art in New York, whereupon he moved to live in the American city. He moved his residence to Paris from 1949, until the end of the 50s. It was in 1950 when, as a result of his participation in the XXV Venice Biennial, he became world renowned and was considered a prominent artist of the 20th century.
Awards and recognitions: He was Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Manila in 1974, by the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1978, by the University of Berkeley in 1982, by the University of Southern California in 1985, and by the Veracruz University in 1991. In 1957 named in France Knight of the Legion of Honor. In 1959 he was appointed Corresponding Member of the Arts Academy of Buenos Aires and in 1961 he was elected to join the Academy of Arts and Letters of the United States. 2nd Prize of the Pittsburgh International Exhibition (1952). Grand Prize for Painting of the II Saõ Paulo Biennial (1953). National Prize of Sciences and Arts in Fine Arts of Mexico 1964. Prize Colouste Gulbenkian of the Institute of Arts of Paris (1969). Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honor of France (1970). Commander of the Italian Republic (1971). Denomination of Favorite Son by the government of Oaxaca (1972). Doctor Honoris Causa by the universities of Manila, in 1974 and the National Autonomous of Mexico, in 1979. Gold Cup of Florence (1975). Albert Einstein Medal of the Technion Institute of Israel (1983). Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts by King Juan Carlos I of Spain (1985). Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (1987). Belisario Domínguez Medal of the Senate of the Republic (1988). Honorary member of the National College on May 21, 1991.