The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, March 30, 2015


Exhibition explores extravagant domestic collecting practices of Spanish Colonial elite opens
A Merry Company on the Banks of the Rímac River. Peru, Lima school, circa 1785–1800. Oil on canvas, 25 x 34 in. (63.5 x 86.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown, by exchange, 2012.41.
BROOKLYN, NY.- The first major exhibition in the United States to explore the private lives, power struggles, and collecting practices of Spain’s New World elite brings together approximately 160 exceptional works in a wide range of media that illuminate conspicuous consumption and domestic display in the colonial era. Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492–1898 debuted at the Brooklyn Museum, where it will be on view through January 12, 2014, before traveling to three additional venues.

Included are paintings, manuscripts, prints, sculpture, decorative-arts objects, and textiles. The material demonstrates how colonial Spanish America’s new moneyed classes—including Spaniards, Creoles (Spaniards born in the New World), individuals of mixed race, and indigenous people—secured their social status through the spectacular private display of luxury goods from all over the world. The exhibition invites the visitor into an elite Spanish colonial home, beginning with more public reception rooms, hung with elaborately costumed family portraits and filled with fine imported and locally produced luxury goods, and ending with more private rooms, displaying objects that also spoke to the racial and social identity of their owners.

When the Spanish empire first expanded its borders into the Americas, the early conquistadors brought with them a rich artistic tradition, along with a monotheistic religion and an obsession with racial purity. Within a hundred years, fabulous fortunes had been amassed in the New World, thanks to the region’s abundant natural resources and robust market economy. Although Spanish America’s newly privileged class consisted of some of the wealthiest people in the world, the crown consistently favored those born in Spain for prominent local government and church positions, and political reforms in the eighteenth century further limited Creole power. In defiance, American-born elites responded by acquiring and ostentatiously displaying luxury goods from around the world in their dress and in their homes as pointed reminders of the crown’s reliance on New World resources. Their collections became more eclectic, including works by local artists and indigenous craftsmen as well as European masters.

Most of the objects in the exhibition are drawn from the Brooklyn Museum’s superb Spanish colonial holdings, supplemented by additional selections from the American, European, Asian, and Islamic collections as well as loans from public and private collections. For the first time in an exhibition in this country, Spanish colonial objects destined for the home will be paired with British American counterparts for purposes of comparison. The exhibition, which encompasses all of the New World under Spanish domination, calls attention to the Caribbean’s pivotal but, surprisingly, often overlooked role in Spanish American history.

Among the exhibition highlights is a group of luxury objects from the viceroyalty of New Spain, which comprised present-day Mexico and Central America. One is a shell-inlaid and painted folding screen, or biombo enconchado, commissioned expressly for Mexico City’s viceregal palace about 1700 by Viceroy José Sarmiento de Valladares. This extremely rare, massive six-panel screen will be a focal point of the exhibition, along with a newly discovered late eighteenth-century Neoclassical portrait by the mixed-race Puerto Rican painter José Campeche. Depicting twenty-one-year-old Doña Maria de los Dolores Gutiérrez del Mazo y Pérez, the painting commemorated her marriage to the future viceroy of New Granada.

Other objects in the exhibition include a pair of painted leather Peruvian chests from about 1690 decorated with allegories of the four elements, symbols of the zodiac, and a scene of a merry company dining outdoors; eighteenth-century Chinese export porcelain bearing the coat of arms of one of colonial Mexico’s leading families; an early sixteenth-century medallion Ushak carpet from Turkey of the type recorded in South American women’s sitting rooms; a late eighteenth-century polychromed wood portable tabernacle, adorned with the Virgin Mary and mirrors to reflect candlelight; Free Women of Color with Their Children and Servants in a Landscape, a portrait from about 1764–96 of members of the mixed-race elite in the British colony of Dominica by Italian painter Agostino Brunias; and Francisco de Goya’s monumental portrait of Peruvian-born Don Tadeo Bravo de Rivero, painted in Madrid in 1806.

The Brooklyn Museum began acquiring domestic Spanish colonial art in earnest in 1941 when Herbert J. Spinden, Curator of American Indian Art and Primitive Cultures, purchased approximately fourteen hundred art works from eight Latin American countries. The collection, which now ranks among the country’s finest, has been augmented with important recent acquisitions that are included in the exhibition.





Today's News

September 22, 2013

Exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum reveals unglamorous history of pearls

Smithsonian Secretary announces plan to retire; Wayne Clough to step down October 2014

Exhibition explores extravagant domestic collecting practices of Spanish Colonial elite opens

Exhibition at Albertina provides insight into the impressive years of the incipient avant garde

An umbrella, a sewing machine and a dissecting table: Surrealism à la Dalí in Rotterdam

The Enchanted World of German Romantic Prints opens at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

2012-13 is a year of great success and worldwide development for Tate galleries

Christie's presents for sale magnificent silver with a Russian imperial provenance

Galerie Springer Berlin exhibits photographs and drawings by the New York artist Saul Leiter

World's largest stamp gallery opens at the National Postal Museum

Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia examines Catherine the Great's art patronage

"Adolph Gottlieb: Sculptor" opens at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

HangarBicocca, the contemporary art space in Milan, presents The Visitors by Ragnar Kjartansson

Everson announces opening of Jordan Eagles: Red Giant

Spectacular site-specific installation by Chiharu Shiota inaugurates Daniel Templon's new gallery space

UT Austin receives gift of Magnum Photos collection from Dell, Fuhrman, Phelan families

Hermès honours Spain with a one-of-a-kind bag to be auctioned online by Christie's

Luca Dellaverson's first solo exhibition opens at Tilton Gallery

Smithsonian experts find E-readers can make reading easier for those with dyslexia

Kunsthal KAdE presents major exhibition with 37 contemporary Japanese artists

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Alan Bean's Apollo 12 space memorabilia for auction at Bonhams' annual Space History sale

2.- Former electrician who hid 271 Picasso works found guilty of possessing stolen goods

3.- Museo del Prado brings together for the first time four masterpieces by Van der Weyden

4.- Study by Mexican anthropologist says elites' clash led to Teotihuacan collapse

5.- Classical realist painter Jenness Cortez re-imagines Leonardo's 'Mona Lisa'

6.- National Gallery of Art reunites Rubens' Three Magi for the first time in a century

7.- Adolf Hitler 1912 watercolor still life painting to be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions

8.- Curator at Croatia's Natural History Museum finds Neanderthals were world's first jewellers

9.- 17 tourists killed and 42 wounded as gunmen attack Tunisia's National Bardo Museum

10.- Anish Kapoor presents a series of giant and wildly expressive resin and silicon works



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site