Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800

Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800



Melchor Pérez Holguín’s Pietà: A Restoration in Context

In 2019 LACMA acquired a monumental painting by the Bolivian painter Melchor Pérez Holguín, which was restored for the exhibition Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800. Referred to as the “Golden Brush,” Pérez Holguín was regarded as one of the most important painters of Potosí, Bolivia, in his own day and beyond. This stirring painting was designed to invoke piety and arouse the senses, all while appealing to local forms of taste and religiosity. Narrated by the actor Julian Sands, the film documents the painting’s history and restoration, and includes rich commentary by various experts, including LACMA curators and conservators, as well as prominent historians.

—Ilona Katzew, Curator and Department Head of Latin American Art, LACMA



“A gorgeous new installation of permanent collection works. . . a brilliant museum collection. . . a standout”
Los Angeles Times
“The show and its catalog brim with new scholarship”
Los Angeles County Museum on Fire: William Poundstone on Art and Chaos
“La muestra reivindica. . . el arte colonial. . . la necesidad de ensanchar el canon y . . . de ver lo americano como algo nuevo”
El País
“An amazing feat of museum collection building. . .a truly world-class representation of the viceregal arts”
The Magazine Antiques
"A presentation of the exceptional Spanish Colonial—or viceregal—artworks collected over the past two decades. . . . Archive of the World. . . . illuminates a long moment in world and art history that has often been overlooked"
Art and Antiques
“The exhibition illuminates the intricate social, economic, and artistic dynamics involved in the area”
Guardian Liberty Voice
"A comprehensive survey of LACMA's collection of Spanish American art"
The Week in Art, The Art Newspaper
"LACMA’s Archive of the World catalogue matters. . .[a] splendid publication"
Art & Object
"Works showing the complexities of life in the Americas under Spanish colonial rule...plug an important gap in its collection”
The Art Newspaper
"LACMA shows artifacts and religious works designed to fire the imagination. . . excellent catalogue. . . glittering, informative exhibition"
New York Times