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Description: The Arts in Latin America, 1492–1820
~We are honored and delighted to present to a broad public in the United States and Mexico this extraordinary compendium of works of art from what are now twelve countries across Latin America and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Between the great indigenous civilizations of the ancient Americas and the modern nations that came into being in the early...
PublisherPhiladelphia Museum of Art
PublisherYale University Press
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Directors’ Foreword
We are honored and delighted to present to a broad public in the United States and Mexico this extraordinary compendium of works of art from what are now twelve countries across Latin America and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Between the great indigenous civilizations of the ancient Americas and the modern nations that came into being in the early nineteenth century are three centuries of rich artistic interaction and creativity that this book and the exhibition it accompanies seek to explore in an unprecedented geographical and cultural panorama.
We join Joseph J. Rishel in his salute to the remarkable international team of scholars and colleagues whose research has brought this panorama to life, and with him we thank the talented staff at each of our institutions who together have brought this complex project into being. It has been the breadth of vision and passionate dedication to this exhibition on the part of Joseph Rishel himself that has shown the way.
An international cultural undertaking such as this one requires the wise counsel of members of the diplomatic corps of many nations, whether in Washington, D.C., or in each collaborating country, and the exhibition has had unstinting support wherever we turned. We are profoundly grateful to all the ambassadors, the ministries of culture, and their staffs who provided timely help and encouragement. We owe a particular debt of heartfelt thanks to the embassy and consulates of Mexico in the United States for their interest in this cultural partnership between our countries. Without the splendid, sympathetic, and always resourceful support of United States Ambassador to Mexico, the Honorable Antonio O. Garza, Jr., Cultural Attaché Marjorie Coffin, and Senior Cultural Affairs Specialist Bertha Cea Echenique, from the inception of this project until opening day at each of our museums, the exhibition could not have been realized.
The intellectual and artistic breadth of this project and the compelling beauty and humanity of the works of art shown in the exhibition and discussed in this volume have attracted the passionate adherence of hundreds of individuals in many countries who have helped in a multitude of ways. They have our warmest thanks. To Barbara B. Aronson, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Roberta and Richard Huber, Ana Maria Keene, and D. Dodge Thompson go special gratitude for their advice and enthusiasm all along the way. We are also especially grateful to The Getty Foundation and its director, Deborah Marrow, for their generous and timely support through a Collaborative Research Grant that permitted the scholarly travel and international exchange of ideas so critical to the formation of the show. Research and preparation for this book were also sustained by the invaluable support of the fund for scholarly publications at the Philadelphia Museum of Art created by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and matched by generous donors.
The early and enlightened lead sponsorship of Fundación Televisa and the enthusiasm of its Chairman, Emilio Azcárraga Jean, have been crucial to the success of this great cultural enterprise. We thank the Televisa team of Claudio X. González, Maurício Maillé, and Diana Mogollón Gonzalez for their quick grasp of the importance of the exhibition to an international audience and their unwavering support.
Government agencies in both the United States and Mexico have been generously enthusiastic in their support. A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, an indemnity from the U.S. Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, and a grant from the Mexico Tourism Board have all played important roles in our museums’ ability to introduce the project and our mutual desire to deepen the understanding of shared cultural values.
In Mexico City, the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso has greatly benefited from the generous and heartfelt support of its three governing entities: the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and its Rector, Juan Ramón de la Fuente, and its Coordinator of Cultural Programming, Gerardo Estrada; the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA) and its President, Sari Bermúdez; and the Government of the Federal District of Mexico (GDF) and its Mayor, Alejandro Encinas.
In Philadelphia, the Museum is deeply grateful for an endowment for major exhibitions created by the Annenberg Foundation, and to the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr., and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, Popular Financial Holdings, the Connelly Foundation, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Martha Hamilton Morris and I. Wistar Morris III, Maude de Schauensee, Paul K. Kania, Marilynn and Carl Thoma, The Brook J. Lenfest Foundation, Vivian W. Piasecki, and other generous individuals. Without their faithful support, sustained throughout the length of this ambitious project, the exhibition could not have reached its splendid potential. We are also grateful to the Huber Family Foundation and the Ceil and Michael E. Pulitzer Foundation, who with other, anonymous donors assisted with the restoration of the magnificent Crucifix from the Monastery of São Bento de Olinda in Brazil. We are also pleased once again to have the promotional support provided by NBC 10 WCAU and Amtrak.
There are over 120 lenders, public and private, in eleven countries across Latin America and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as well as the United States, England, Spain, Switzerland, and Italy, without whose willingness to part with their treasures the exhibition would not have happened. To each of them go our heartfelt gratitude for their crucial role in making up the vast, composite picture that is presented in this exhibition. Suzanne F. Wells, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Director of Special Exhibitions Planning, brought her unparalleled skills of diplomacy and artful coordination to the task of bringing together the myriad aspects of such a major international project. The Museum’s Senior Registrar, Irene Taurins, and her staff worked tirelessly and creatively to organize the loans from so many locations around the globe. They, with their Philadelphia colleague Warwick (Rick) Wheeler, Director of Corporate Relations, and their partners in Mexico City and Los Angeles—Ery Camara Thiam, Exhibitions Manager at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso; and Ilona Katzew, Curator, Latin American Art, and Irene Martin, Assistant Director, Exhibition Programs, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art—made up a splendid international team. The English edition of this book, so handsomely produced by Marquand Books, is made possible by a generous grant from the Davenport Family Foundation. It has been edited with skill and devotion by Beth Huseman at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and overseen by the Museum’s Director of Publishing, Sherry Babbitt, who together brought to this complex project their complete attention, intelligence, and grace under pressure. And now, on behalf of the extraordinary and far-reaching collective partnership of scholars, curators, donors, lenders, and supporters, we invite you to join with us in this remarkable celebration of the arts of Latin America.
Anne d’Harnoncourt
The George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Paloma Porraz Fraser
Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City
Michael Govan
Chief Executive Officer and Wallis Annenberg Director
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Directors’ Foreword
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