This landmark exhibition features a selection of remarkable paintings as well as a grouping of retablos (small-scale paintings on copper or tin) and two silver and gold plaques recently acquired by Phoenix Art Museum from the Estate of Gerry S. Culpepper and the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation. With the exception of one exquisite 18th-century Mexican painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe—on display here for the first time—these paintings were all created in the 18th century in the Viceroyalty of Peru, a territory that encompassed present-day Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, among other modern South American nations. The exhibited retablos, on the other hand, were produced in Mexico in the 19th century.
The Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, the Last Judgment, saints, and archangels conquering Satan are among the most prominent subjects of the works on display. Some of these paintings are very large and would have originally functioned as components of church altarpieces. Others are smaller in scale, but no less commanding, and would likely have served as devotional aids for prayer in chapels, private home shrines, monasteries, or convents.
This exhibition affords the community the opportunity to view masterworks of Spanish Colonial art that have never before been exhibited. These works showcase the inventiveness, originality, and skill of artists working in the Spanish viceroyalties during the 18th century. In addition, they illustrate these artists’ diverse approaches to religious imagery and its multifaceted meanings in the colonial world.
A generous gift of funds from Shawn and Joe Lampe enabled the Museum to undertake the cleaning and restoration of these donated paintings. Thanks to the generosity of leading members of the Phoenix community Milena and Tony Astorga, Pari and Peter Banko, Lee and Mike Cohn, Mary and Harold Dorenbecher, Susan and Carter Emerson, Diane and Bruce Halle, Janis and Dennis Lyon, and Gail and Steve Rineberg, we were then able to frame these restored works of art.
This exhibition will be accompanied by a free, public symposium on Spanish Colonial art developed in collaboration with scholars from the Herberger School for Art and Design and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Arizona State University. This event will be held in the Phoenix Art Museum’s Whiteman Auditorium on September 30th 2015 from 6 to 8 p.m.
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Painting in the New World: A Symposium on Spanish Colonial Art | September 30, 2015, 6 to 8 p.m.
Unknown, Alto Peruvian, The Last Judgment (detail), 18th century. Oil on canvas. Gift of Gerry S. Culpepper
This exhibition is organized by Phoenix Art Museum and supported by Shawn and Joe Lampe and The Joan Cremin Exhibition Endowment Fund.
Additional funds generously given by Milena and Tony Astorga, Pari and Peter Banko, Lee and Mike Cohn, Mary and Harold Dorenbecher, Susan and Carter Emerson, Diane and Bruce Halle, Janis and Dennis Lyon, and Gail and Steve Rineberg.