Las Pozas and Edward James


Edward James by René Magritte, La Reproduction Interdite (1937).

Art collector Edward James (1907–1984) was a characteristically English eccentric, a kind of 20th century equivalent of William Beckford or Horace Walpole, who was captivated by Surrealism in the 1930s and became a lifelong devotee of the movement. Much of his inherited wealth was spent supporting artists such as Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and Lenora Carrington and his homes at Monkton House and Walpole Street in London were transformed into showcases of Surrealist decor; Dalí’s famous sofa modelled on Mae West’s lips was designed with assistance from James.


In 1947 James began commuting regularly to Xilitla in Mexico (a country specially favoured by the Surrealists) and in 1949 began the construction of Las Pozas, a sprawling jungle folly that eventually developed into a cross between a sculpture park and a plan for a new school of Surrealist construction not far removed from similar flights of invention by Antonio Gaudí. Las Pozas occupied him up to his death and unfortunately remains incomplete like so many works of fabulist architecture. There is, however, a small site devoted to it here with some magazine features and details of how to find the place should you ever be on holiday in the region.




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5 thoughts on “Las Pozas and Edward James”

  1. Wow you don’t really realize how large they actually are until you see the two people in the last photo.

  2. Wonderfully provocative site! I was looking for some images from the Jeu de Marseille, the early card games played by the surrealists, and voila(!) found this here. Nice to see some images also of Las Pozas. I will visit more. Thanks.

  3. This place is definitely worth the trip. I was there about 10 years ago. You can take the bus from San Miguel de Allende east or from Tampico west. It’s up in the Sierra Gorda. Cheap to stay round there too.Very very worth the trip!!!

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