On the Path of the Marigolds

Living Traditions of Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Ann Murdy

One of the most enduring portrayals of Mexico's famous Day of the Dead ceremony!
Publication date:
October 2019
Publisher :
George F. Thompson
Contributor(s) :
Denise Chavez, Cesareo Moreno
Illustration :
90 color photographs
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781938086724

Dimensions : 292 X 254 mm
Available in 3-4 weeks


• The fact that the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago is hosting the book's launch on November 7, with a major program, speaks volumes to the importance of this book
• The Day of the Dead is a huge cultural even in the U.S., Mexico, and other Spanish-speaking countries
• The book's photographs are stunning, and the essay and interview are by leading experts

Photographer Ann Murdy has been documenting the celebrations around Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) in Mexico for more than twenty years. A native of Los Angeles, she first started collecting Chicano art in the 1980s and was drawn to Mexico by the vibrancy of its culture and traditions. She loved the rich colors she found everywhere, from the brilliant reds and blues of the papier-maché flowers adorning the ofrendas or altars to the dead to the dusky yellow of the marigolds lining pathways leading to the ofrendas in both private homes and cemeteries.

As Murdy's hauntingly beautiful images show, in Mexico death is considered a part of life and something to be celebrated rather than feared. El día de los muertos (which actually lasts two days on November 1-2) is a time to gather with friends and families to feast, pray, dance, and honor the lives of those who have died. From the preparation of the food and flowers to the sanctification of the public and private spaces, to the ceremony itself, Murdy captures the spirt, beauty, and magic of this sacred observance.

On the Path of the Marigolds features ninety of Murdy's most stunning images of celebrations from three villages — Teotitlan del Valle in Oaxaca, Santa Fe de Laguna in Puebla, and Patzcuaro in Michoacán—along with a conversation between her and Cesaréo Moreno, Director of Visual Arts and Chief Curator of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, and an essay by Mexican-American writer Denise Chávez.