Published: August 14, 2007
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has announced that, in conjunction with the exhibition, “The Arts in Latin America, 1492‱820,” on view through October 28, it will host a complementary exhibition of 25 colonial objects on long-term loan from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. This is the first time a long-term loan to a US museum of Spanish colonial art from the celebrated New York and Caracas-based colección has been made. Among the works are decorative arts, silverwork, carved ivories and paintings.
The loan is part of the efforts to make the Cisneros collection more accessible to a wider audience, and to increase awareness of Latin American art and culture. Well-known for its collection of postwar geometric and contemporary art, the Cisneros collection also includes important holdings in colonial art and Latin American landscapes from the Seventeenth Century to the present.
Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and director, said, “The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is grateful to the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros for its generous loan. While many are familiar with collection’s superb holdings of modern and contemporary Latin American art, too few know of its important collection of colonial art. The loan of 25 works from this collection is helping to advance LACMA’s efforts to ensure that Latin American art is a key and growing component of the museum’s program.
“It is especially appropriate that the Cisneros works will have their LACMA debut during the presentation of ‘The Arts in Latin America, 1492‱820,’ to which they will provide an enriching complement.”
Works from the Cisneros loan will be presented in “Highlights of Spanish Colonial Art from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros,” a special installation at LACMA on view through December 30. Following this, they will be installed in the museum’s newly renovated Latin American art galleries, scheduled to open in February 2008.
The works presented in this special display exemplify the mastery attained by colonial artists, and the rich diversity of themes, styles and materials of Spanish colonial art. Objects such as the sewing box from the late Seventeentharly Eighteenth Century reflect the predilection for imported Asian goods through the use of inlaid mother-of-pearl; while sculptures such as the Eighteenth Century works, “Christ Child,” and the “Virgin of the Assumption,” illustrate the popularity of devotional images made of ivory. Other works, including the shields worn by nuns in colonial Mexico, were painted by some of the best artists of the time.
Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, founder of the collection, comments, “In addition to containing objects of great beauty and virtuoso skill, the colonial art component of the colección opens a window onto the social, economic and artistic history of Latin America.”
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