Published: November 28, 2017
SAN MARINO, CALIF. — “In the 1570s, the Spanish Imperial Administration decides that it wants to collect information about its new territories, its new dominions, in the America’s. And what did they do, they put together a questionnaire…,” said Daniela Bleichmar, associate professor of art history and history at the University of Southern California. “3 of the 50 questions ask for visual materials, they ask for maps, and the word they use is ‘pintura,’ painting, send us a painting of the town. We have 69 maps that were made in response to this request.”
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens mounts an exhibition that, in part, explores a catalog of folk-drawn Sixteenth Century maps produced by the indigenous people of Latin America. While Spain’s main objective was to stitch these maps together to form a concise topography of the region, their failed attempt left a visual legacy of the idiosyncrasies of each individual town and the culture and way of life therein. “Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin” continues through January 8. For more information, www.huntington.org or 626-405-2100.
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