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ARTH307: Arts of Latin America

Unit 2: Colonial Encounters   The “discovery” of the New World in the late fifteenth century by Spain and Portugal inaugurated an unprecedented period of cultural encounters stimulated by the arrival of Europeans and, later, Africans to the Americas.  This unit examines a range of artworks – textiles and decorative arts, religious and viceregal architecture, painting and sculpture – that represent the diversity and, no less, the challenges of cross-cultural engagements.  We will consider such themes as “New World,” or creole, identities, syncretism and hybridity, and colonialism and independence in artworks from Mexico, Peru, and Brazil.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 26 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 2.2: 10 hours
 

☐    Subunit 2.2.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2.3: 3 hours
 

☐    Subunit 2.3: 15 hours
 

☐    Subunit 2.3.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 2.3.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 2.3.3: 8 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Identify and describe representative examples of colonial Latin American art and architecture by style, subject, and medium. - Explain the relationship between colonial Latin American artworks and the broader social, religious, economic, and political contexts in which they functioned and circulated. - Discuss the political and ideological significance of colonialism and the impact of European and African contact on Latin American visual culture. - Discuss themes of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and nation in relation to works of art. - Characterize aspects of artistic innovation and continuity across approximately three centuries, and describe the ways in which artists both adapted and resisted foreign influences. - Discuss the evolution of an “American” identity, as manifested in artworks made at the time of independence movements across Latin America.

2.1 Introduction to Colonial Art   - Lecture: vimeo.com: Steven Volk’s “The Colonial Heritage of Independent Latin America” Link: vimeo.com: Steven Volk’s “The Colonial Heritage of Independent Latin America” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click play to watch the lecture above.  Note the 5 questions that Volk poses as you watch his lecture:
 
1. What was the basic purpose of the colonial project?  What were the Spanish (and Portuguese) after?
2. How was wealth produced (i.e., how was labor organized to get at wealth)?
3. How was society organized?  How did the Spanish deal with the basic division of society into natives (Indians) and Spanish/Criollos?
4. What relationship existed between “Latin America” and the rest of the world?
5. At the moment of independence, what political battles had been decided and what remained to be fought?
 
Expect to spend approximately 60 minutes listening to the lecture and taking notes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

2.2 Discovering the New World   2.2.1 Making Sense of the Pre-Columbian   - Reading: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “Making Sense of the Pre-Columbian” Link: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “Making Sense of the Pre-Columbian” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on “Introduction” and “Surveying the Pre-Columbian” to read through an overview of this theme.  Then click on “Pre-Columbian Gallery” and work through each image, making sure to click on the “Discussion” link (above each image) and reading the text carefully.  This webpage is your principal resource for this unit, and you may wish to familiarize yourself with its content (e.g., the Glossary, accessible through the Resources tab at the top of the page).
 
Expect to spend approximately 3 hours on these readings.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

2.2.2 Reckoning with Mestizaje   - Reading: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “Reckoning with Mestizaje” Link: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “Reckoning with Mestizaje” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on “Introduction” and “Surveying Mestizaje” to read through an overview of this theme.  Then click on “Mestizaje Gallery” and work through each image, making sure to click on the “Discussion” link (above each image) and reading the text carefully.
 
Expect to spend approximately 3 hours on these readings.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

  • Activity: Southern Methodist University: Peter Bakewell’s “Thinksheets: Castas” Link: Southern Methodist University: Peter Bakewell’s “Thinksheets: Castas” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Casta paintings provide a fascinating glimpse into the racial politics of mestizaje.  Read the linked texts by Acosta and Ulloa and click through the selection of paintings as you consider the question posed about the attitude of the Spaniards toward the racial mixture of the colonial population.
     
    Expect to spend approximately 60 minutes on this activity.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

2.2.3 Political Force of Images   - Reading: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “The Political Force of Images” Link: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “The Political Force of Images” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on “Introduction” and “Surveying Political Force” to read through an overview of this theme.  Then click on “Political Force Gallery” and work through each image, making sure to click on the “Discussion” link (above each image) and reading the text carefully.
 
Expect to spend approximately 3 hours on these readings.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above. 

2.3 New World Cultures   2.3.1 Patterns of the Everyday   - Reading: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “Patterns of the Everyday” Link: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “Patterns of the Everyday” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on “Introduction” and “Surveying Patterns” to read through an overview of this theme.  Then click on “Patterns Gallery” and work through each image, making sure to click on the “Discussion” link (above each image) and reading the text carefully.
 
Expect to spend approximately 3 hours on these readings.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

2.3.2 The Mechanics of an Art World   - Reading: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “The Mechanics of an Art World” Link: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “The Mechanics of an Art World” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on “Introduction” and “Surveying Mechanics” to read through an overview of this theme.  Then click on “Mechanics Gallery” and work through each image, making sure to click on the “Discussion” link (above each image) and reading the text carefully.
 
Expect to spend approximately 3 hours on these readings.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

  • Activity: Southern Methodist University: Peter Bakewell’s “Thinksheets: Caribbean Discovery & Encounter”

    Link: Southern Methodist University: Peter Bakewell’s “Thinksheets: Caribbean Discovery & Encounter” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the linked texts by Pané and Las Casas, and click through to view the images by de Bry.  Compare de Bry’s engravings to the Natural History of the Indies (an image in the “Mechanics Gallery”).  How do these images portray European attitudes toward indigenous populations?

    Expect to spend approximately 60 minutes on this activity.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.3 Otherworldly Visions   - Reading: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “Otherworldly Visions” Link: Vistas: Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy’s “Otherworldly Visions” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on “Introduction” and “Surveying the Otherworldly” to read through an overview of this theme.  Then click on “Otherworldly Gallery” and work through each image, making sure to click on the “Discussion” link (above each image) and reading the text carefully.
 
Expect to spend approximately 3 hours on these readings.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.