The Arts in Latin America, 1492–1820

Art of the Americas Building, Level 2
August 5, 2007–October 28, 2007

The Arts in Latin America, 1492-1820 is an ambitious, multimedia, pan-national presentation of approximately 250 works of art created in the Spanish viceroyalties of New Spain (which today comprises Mexico and Central America) and Peru (now the countries of Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru) and in the Portuguese colony of Brazil during the three hundred years between the discovery of the "New World" by the "Old" and the creation of new, independent nation-states. The Arts in Latin America, 1492-1820 will be the first exhibition to disregard the national boundaries created in the early nineteenth century, instead exploring both the artistic differences and commonalities throughout colonial Latin America in a new, synthetic context. Spectacular examples of painting, sculpture, feather-work, shell-inlaid furniture, objects in gold and silver, ceramics, and textiles will be borrowed from public and private collections throughout the Americas and in Europe.

This exhibition is curated by Joseph J. Rishel, the Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting before 1900 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Suzanne Stratton-Pruitt, working with an international committee of scholars and in collaboration with the curators at the participating museums. Ilona Katzew, LACMA curator of Latin American Art, and a renowned specialist of Spanish colonial art, is in charge of the presentation at LACMA.

The international tour of The Arts in Latin America, 1492–1820 was made possible by Fundación Televisa.

The exhibition was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City.

This exhibition was also supported by an indemnity from the U. S. Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Initial scholarly research was supported by a Collaborative Research Grant from The Getty Foundation; funding for conservation was provided in part by the Huber Family Foundation and the Ceil and Michael E. Pulitzer Foundation.

The Los Angeles presentation was made possible in part by LACMA’s Wallis Annenberg Director’s Endowment Fund, LACMA’s Art Museum Council, The Getty Foundation, and Bank of America.

In-kind support for the Los Angeles presentation was generously provided by KKJZ 88.1 FM. 

The organizers are grateful for the special collaboration of the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA), the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), and the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), Mexico.

Image: The Divine Shepherdess (detail), Quito, Ecuador, c. 1780, oil on canvas, 61 1/8 x 38 1/4 in., Collection of Marilynn and Carl Thoma.