Museo Casa de León Trotsky [Leon Trotsky Museum] (Coyoacán, México)
– Survey –
In this section of TrotskyanaNet we present three major contributions about the famous Trotsky house (nowadays forming part of the Leon Trotsky Museum (Museo Casa de León Trotsky) in Coyoacán, México, where Leon Trotsky spent the last sixteen months of his life together with his companion Natal'ia Sedova, his grandson Vsevolod Platonovich Volkov and several secretaries and guards:
- The Trotsky Museum (Museo Casa de León Trotsky) in Coyoacán, an exhaustive essay, authored by Prof. Gabriel García Higueras and presented both in Spanish and English.
It is based on first-hand research in Coyoacán, done in 1990 and 2006. This essay, written in 2006/07, features many aspects of the history of the Trotsky house in Coyoacán and of the everyday life of those who lived there in 1939/40. At the same time it features today's Trotsky Museum which Trotsky's house several years ago has become a part of.
- Trotsky in Coyoacán - a bibliography, an exhaustive bibliographical compilation of published items about Trotsky's final years of exile in Mexico, about his assassination, and about the house in Coyoacán which he acquired in 1939 and in which he was murdered in August 1940 by Stalinist agent Ramón Mercader.
- A Picture gallery of the Trotsky Museum (Museo Casa León Trotsky, Coyoacán, México): 74 photographs taken by Gabriel García Higueras in August 2006 for which a summary description follows:
The centre of today's Leon Trotsky Museum is formed by the house that Trotsky and his entourage lived in, the garden area with tropical flowers and rare cacti, the outer walls and guard towers, giving the property a fortress-like appearance.
The study in which Trotsky was deadly wounded by Stalinist agent Ramón Mercader on August 20, 1940 remained unaltered (glasses, papers, books, calendar etc.) since then and the same applies to most of the interior of the house. In the early 1980s the complex was declared a historic monument. Some additional small buildings, e.g. the guard houses along the wall, were turned into exhibition rooms presenting photographs, memorabilia etc. with regard to Trotsky, his family and his friends. In the centre of the garden is situated the grave containing the ashes of Trotsky and Natal'ia Sedova; the place is marked by a white stone stele with hammer and sickle and above it a flagpole with a red flag.
The current museum was created in 1990, 50 years after Trotsky's assassination, along with the Instituto del Derecho de Asilio y las Libertades Públicas. Today, an auditorium and temporary exhibition halls belong to the museum, too, which is enjoying an annual average of some 17,000 people from Maexico and from abroad.
For more details see for instance Leon Trotsky Museum, Mexico City [Wikipedia article].
Description of the photographs presented in the
- Photograph no. 1: [Picture index]
- Photographs nos. 2-8: Exterior views of the Trotsky House and Museum (Calle Viena 10, Av. Rio Churubusco 410) [Parts of exterior facade, watchtower, iron gate at Calle Viena 33 (former entrance), gate to Trotsky Museum (new building) etc.]
- Photographs nos. 9-22: Trotsky exhibits in the Museum [Photographs, posters, artefacts and other material related to Trotsky, members of his family etc. Photograph no. 10 depicts a Trotsky bust sculpted by Duncan Ferguson, photograph no. 22 shows one of Trotsky's Red Army caps]
- Photographs nos. 23-25: The Museum's library [Photograph no. 25 shows Trotsky's grandson Esteban Volkov sitting in the library]
- Photograph no. 26: View of the conference room [on the right: Esteban Volkov]
- Photograph no. 27: Sitemap of the Museum
- Photographs nos. 28-39: Views of the inner court, the garden and the interior facades [incl. the plaque in memory of R.S. Harte, the rabbit hutches, the gravestone and urn grave of Trotsky and Sedova, the inscription on the gravestone, the guards' house, etc.]
- Photographs nos. 40-64: Interior views of Trotsky's house [sleeping room, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, Trotsky's study and office, Sedova's desk, bedroom of Trotsky's grandson Esteban Volkov, Trotsky's library, Trotsky's dictaphone, etc.]
- Photographs nos. 65-73: Views of the exhibition room where temporary exhibitions are held [no. 67-73: paintings by Vlady Kibalchich, displayed in 2006]
- Photograph no. 74: Gabriel García Higueras, who shot the photographs presented here, in the Trotsky Museum (August 2006)
Wolfgang and Petra Lubitz 2006
Slightly rev. Oct. 2020