Latin Fine Arts and Culture
The European discovery, conquest, and settlement of America, that began in 1492, created huge changes within the autochthonal cultures of the region. Once Europeans arrived, principally from Spain and Portugal, they came with painting and sculpture traditions dating back to antiquity. (For these artistic traditions, see Western painting and Western sculpture.) For centuries indigenous American peoples had equally formed civilizations with their own unique artistic practices, from the big political structures of the Inca and aztec empires to the additional scattered presence of little teams of wandering peoples. (For a probe of those artistic traditions, see Native American arts.) The importation of African slaves led to the presence of long-standing African visual arts traditions within the region yet. (For these traditions, see African art.)
Choose the Right
Over the course of the decades and centuries once the ecu contact, Latin America underwent sweeping cultural and political changes that may result in the independence movements of the 19th century and also the social upheavals of the 20th century. Visual arts production within the region reflected these changes. Occupant artists have typically superficially accepted designs from Europe and also the U. S., modifying them to mirror their local cultures and experiences. At the same time, these artists have typically retained several aspects of autochthonal traditions. As Latin America has searched for its own identity, its artists have looked to their past, to their popular culture, to their faith, to their political surroundings, and to their personal imaginations to make a distinct tradition of Latin American art.
Based in Latin Arts
Based on the research I present here, I would contend that unless we embrace the Latin category, the extraordinary accomplishments of many artists will continue to be relegated to the margins of both Latin American and American art history. I also want to propose that while scholarly work benefits from an intersectional understanding of identities and from interdisciplinary, we need to bring greater visibility to Latin art within academia and especially within the field of art history. Toward this end, those of us committed to the study and validation of Latin art should consider founding an association of art historians committed to the field. Such an association would be affiliated with the College Art Association and with the Latin Studies Initiative (information within the Latin American Studies Association), the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS), the Puerto Rican Studies Association (PRSA), the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), and the Inter-University Program for Latino Research, University of Illinois at Chicago (IUPLR). I want to acknowledge, at the outset, that I am something of a novice in the field of US Latin art, and I continue to learn from veteran scholars across disciplines. I am self-taught, and a succinct telling of how I came to this field seems apropos, since I have learned recently how much it echoes the experiences of colleagues in the field. Latino artistic expressions, including literature and the visual and performing arts, have made fundamental contributions to North American culture.