Mar 17

“The Visual Culture of War in 19th-Century Latin America”

The PhD Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages

invites you to attend

“The Visual Culture of War in 19th-Century Latin America”

a lecture by
Katherine Manthorne (Art History; The Graduate Center, CUNY)

About the talk:
Every culture devises accounts of its origins and most histories give pride of place to military exploits and their leaders. This illustrated presentation analyzes the imagery of war from two episodes in the tumultuous history of 19th century South America. First we examine the War of Independence with special attention to José Gil de Gastro, the artist who almost single-handedly created the enduring images of its heroes of Independence. We then shift our attention to the 1870s when Juan Manuel Blanes created allegories and battle pictures for the countries of the southern cone. Examining art against this historic backdrop reveals that shifting geo-political borders and social alliances necessitated changes in the subject matter and function of images. Gil de Castro’s portrayals of such notables as Simón Bolivar of Venezuela, José de San Martín of Argentina, and Bernardo O’Higgins of Chile were intended to convey simultaneously details of warfare and newly formulated political ideals. Painting fifty years later, Blanes conceived of himself as “a South American painter” and created images that identified with the ideals of a modern urban bourgeoisie.

About Dr. Manthorne:
Dr. Manthorne is Professor of Art History at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she focuses on hemispheric American Art. Her recent publications include Traveler Artists> Landscapes of Latin America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection (2015) and the forthcoming California Mexicana: Missions to Murals, 1820-1930 (University of California Press) and its related exhibition, part of Getty’s PST2 for Laguna Art Museum opening October 2017.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Feb 16

CFP: Realisms: Politics, Art, and Visual Culture in the Americas

Realisms: Politics, Art, and Visual Culture in the Americas

Symposium for Emerging Scholars at

The Institute of Fine Arts and the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art

Date: April 30, 2016
Keynote lecturer: José Luis Falconi
Deadline: February 15​​, 2016 2016

The call for papers that follows has been provided by the symposium organizing committee. Read the full call for papers and find out more about ISLAA on their site. 


The Institute of Fine Arts and the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art are pleased to announce the inaugural IFA–ISLAA Symposium for emerging scholars, “Realisms: Politics, Art, and Visual Culture in the Americas.” The symposium will take place on April 30, 2016 with a keynote lecture by José Luis Falconi.

In the past few years alone, there has been a proliferation of art initiatives that have attempted to synthesize and analyze Latin American art. While such endeavors have been instrumental in raising the profile of this field, they inherently risk creating an idealized history of visual culture, in which the realities of art-making in the Americas recede or are otherwise mystified. Rather than attempting to understand American visualities through received stylistic categories (e.g. geometric abstraction, figuration, conceptualism), an approach that engages more directly with aesthetic and social realities may begin to expand our understandings.

This conference considers “realism” in the Americas not as a stylistic mode pertaining to figuration, mimesis, or authenticity, but rather as a strategy for critically addressing social, political, and economic conditions. Departing from Jacques Rancière’s proposition that “an image is an element in a system that creates a certain sense of reality,” we aim to examine how visual interventions might “construct different realities…different spatiotemporal systems, different communities of words and things, forms, and meanings.”1 From the struggles for independence circa 1800 to contemporary actions addressing political violence and exclusionary immigration policies, the problem of reality has proven central to representations of life across the hemisphere. At a moment in which “global art history” has gained increasing prominence, and in which Latin American art history has moved from the marginal to the canonical, how can we address the specificities of lived experience, both local and hemispheric, while also acknowledging broader connections?

Current graduate students, recent graduates, and emerging scholars are invited to apply. Applicants from fields outside the realm of art history, but grounded in visual material, are highly encouraged (e.g. Cinema and Media Studies, Latin American and Latina/o studies, Visual Culture).

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

• Art and activism, human rights

• Decolonization, immigration, asylum

• Subjectivity, affect, intersectionality

• Geographic, social, and political topographies

• Reenactment and the place of memory

• Labor, natural resources, global markets

• Technology, communication, surveillance

• Housing, monuments, space

The conference will serve as the principal event of the Latin American Forum for Spring 2016. This ongoing forum—generously funded by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) and coordinated by Professor Edward J. Sullivan—invites distinguished visiting lecturers to the IFA to foster greater understanding and recognition of Latin American art around the world.

To apply, please submit an abstract of up to 300 words to symposium@islaa.org by Monday, February 15, 2016. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Monday, February 29, 2016. Presentations will be limited to 20 minutes, with additional time for discussion. In your application, please indicate your current institutional affiliation and from where you will be traveling. Limited funding will be available to assist with travel expenses.

The conference is organized by current IFA PhD candidates in modern and contemporary Latin American art history: Sean Nesselrode Moncada, Juanita Solano, Susanna Temkin, Lizzie Frasco, Blanca Serrano Ortiz, Priscilla Bolanos Salas, Emily Lyver, Brian Bentley, and Madeline Murphy Turner. For further information or with any questions, please contact symposium@islaa.org.

Nov 14

NYC: “Lost Madrid: The Royal Palace of the Spanish Habsburgs” (Columbia University)

As part of the 2014-2015 Bettman Lecture Series, Columbia’s Department of Art History and Archaeology invites you to attend “Lost Madrid: The Royal Palace of the Spanish Habsburgs,” a talk by Prof. Jesús Escobar (Northwestern University).

6:00pm, Monday, November 24th
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Columbia University

From the organizers:

Jesús Escobar is a professor of art history at Northwestern University, where he holds the Harold H. and Virginia Anderson Chair.  He specializes in the art, architecture, and urbanism of early modern Spain, Italy and the Ibero-American world.  His book The Plaza Mayor and the Shaping of Baroque Madrid (2003; revised Spanish edition 2008) received the Eleanor Tufts Award from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies.  Most recently Professor Escobar has published on subjects ranging from religious architecture across the Spanish Empire to the political dimensions of a mid-seventeenth century map of Madrid.  He is currently at work on his upcoming book Baroque Madrid: Architecture, Space, and the Spanish Habsburgs.

Inaugurated in 2004, the Bettman Lectures are an annual program of monthly lectures in art history sponsored by Columbia University’s Department of Art History and Archaeology.  Endowed with a bequest from Linda Bettman, a former graduate student of the department, the lectures are named in her honor.  A reception will follow the lecture.

columbia schermerhorn

A map showing the location of Schermerhorn Hall on Columbia’s campus can be found here

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