LACMA / Los Angeles County Museum Of Art
Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800; Highlights from LACMA's Collection
Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800; Highlights from LACMA's Collection is the first exhibition of LACMA’s notable holdings of Spanish American art.
Edited with text by Ilona Katzew
Exquisitely illustrated with new photography, this stunning catalogue represents the first comprehensive study of LACMA’s notable holdings of Spanish American art. Following the arrival of the Spaniards in the Americas in the 15th century, the region developed complex artistic traditions that drew simultaneously on Indigenous, European, Asian and African art.
In 1565 the Spaniards conquered the Philippines, inaugurating a new commercial route that connected Asia, Europe and the Americas. Private homes and civic and ecclesiastic institutions in Spanish America were filled with imported and locally made objects. This confluence of riches signaled the status of the Americas as a major entrepôt—what one contemporaneous author described as “the archive of the world.” Many works created in Spanish America were also shipped across the globe, attesting to their wide appeal.
Arranged into five thematic sections, the volume features a conversation about LACMA’s collection by Ilona Katzew and Edward J. Sullivan and nearly 100 catalog entries by the catalogue's editor and various scholars, including Pablo F. Amador Marrero, Aaron M. Hyman, Rachel Kaplan, Paula Mues Orts, Jeanette F. Peterson, Elena Phipps, Maya Stanfield-Mazzi and Luis Eduardo Wuffarden, among others. These authoritative texts offer multiple access points to appreciate the material, aesthetic and historical aspects of the works, providing a lasting reference in this increasingly influential area of art history.
Praise and Reviews
"Archive of the World eloquently captures. . . the multiple ways in which Natives, Africans, and Spaniards interacted and exchanged ideas to produce marvelous objects. The comprehensive exhibition catalog provides thought-provoking details. . . with necessary context to understand the histories that inform them. . . .truly a fantastic project. . . . To know that the pieces displayed in Archive of the World have their permanent home in Los Angeles is reason for excitement"—Xóchitl M. Flores-Marcial, Colonial Latin American Review
“[An] impressive book, a volume featuring exquisite pieces of furniture, paintings by famed artists, stunning metalwork, and finely woven textiles. . . . . Katzew has an incredible eye. And the field is lucky to have someone so dedicated to publishing such sophisticated research”—Dana Leibsohn, Latin American Art and Latinx Visual Culture
"LACMA shows artifacts and religious works designed to fire the imagination. . . excellent catalogue. . . glittering, informative exhibition"—Walker Mimms, The New York Times (Critic’s Pick)
“A brilliant museum collection. . . a standout. . . the indispensable catalog. . . functions as an essential and most-welcome guide to the museum’s important permanent collection of art from the viceroyalties of Mexico and Peru” —Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times
“The show and its catalog brim with new scholarship” —William Poundstone, Los Angeles County Museum on Fire
“An amazing feat of museum collection building. . . a truly world-class representation of the viceregal arts. . . the catalogue entries. . . provide a rich cultural context and notable, recent documentary investigations advancing understanding of social uses and commercial interchanges behind many of the objects” —Marcus B. Burke, The Magazine Antiques
“LACMA’s Archive of the World catalogue matters. . .[a] splendid publication” —Anne Claire Mauney, Art & Object- Hardcover
- Size: 9 x 11 inches
- 392 pgs (317 color)
- Published June 2022