The Art of Latin is Unique and Full of Local Flavor

Latin art as a field

In 2013 I used to be invited to talk on the state of Latin art history inside the academy at a workshop related to the Getty’s future Initiative Pacific standard Time: LA/LA.4 I oriented my comments toward the extraordinary growth of Latin art as a field over a twenty-year 129 Latin Art at the Intersection amount (1992–2012). I started with 1992 partially because the quincentennial gave rise to various vital exhibitions that generated new interest in Latin art. The analysis in preparation for my workshop comments was eye-opening. Simply put, the sphere of Latin American art has big quickly since the mid-1990s and nowadays features a secure place inside the discipline of art history.


Latin is Unique

The number of intellectual monographs attests to the present, as will the ever-growing variety of depository exhibitions dedicated to Latin art. It’s conjointly evident within the variety of regular field specialists in tenure-stream faculty positions in departments of arts at United States and Canadian faculties and universities. a vital indicator is that the growth within the variety of student dissertations completed within the last decade and particularly the extraordinary variety of student dissertations presently “in progress,” as listed on the web site of the faculty Art Association (CAA).5 The challenges of the academic job market however, this intellectual production heralds future growth of the sector of Latin arts. In terms of graduate studies in Latin art (pre-Columbian through modern/contemporary), there are currently some cardinal faculties and universities within the U.S.A. and Canada with field specialists.

Full of Local Flavor

A student wishing to pursue graduate study in Latin American art history has forty-nine doctoral programs and thirty master’s-only programs to apply to. In 1993, the year I applied to graduate school, there were approximately ten PhD programs in art history with specialists in the field: six in pre-Columbian or colonial, and four in modern Latin arts. In addition to these, an additional sixteen colleges have departments of art and/or art history with Latin American field specialists. The number and quality of recently minted PhDs in Latin American art history in the United States and Canada is astonishing.

According to the College Art Association’s online index of doctoral dissertations, in 2002–12 ninety-one doctoral dissertations were reported complete in the “Latin American/Caribbean Art” category.  It is noteworthy that in 2003 the CAA revised its subject area categories of art history and visual studies to include “Pre-Columbian Art” (which prior to 2003 had been grouped with “Native American,” even if the latter included modern and contemporary topics) and “Latin American/Caribbean Art” (which prior to 2003 had been subsumed under “Pre-1945 North and South American Art” and “Post-1945 World Art”). In the 1990s the category employed in the CAA’s Art Bulletin was “Post-1945 North, South and European Art,” and in the 1980s the category was either “Native American, Pre-Columbian 130 Zavala and Latin American Art” or “Pre-Columbian and Latin Art.” Occasionally dissertations on modern or contemporary Latin art are (and have been) reported under “Contemporary Art,” “Twentieth Century Art,” and “Performance Studies,” among other categories.

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