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Talking history

Three AGO talks add deeper context to Faith and Fortune by highlighting Black and Indigenous artists throughout the Spanish empire. Check them out before the exhibition closes October 10.

a wide, horizontal hand drawn map of the Ucayali River in Peru, circa 1810-12.

Viceregal Peru, Map of the Ucayali River, Peru, 1808-1812. Ink and color on paper, 58 x 158 cm. The Hispanic Society of America, New York, NY. K60. Photo © The Hispanic Society of America, New York.   

The AGO exhibition Faith and Fortune: Art Across the Global Spanish Empire gives visitors an exclusive chance to critically study the mechanics of colonization by examining the visual culture of the Spanish Empire. The exhibition contains a broad spectrum of artworks and artifacts from the Philippines to Puerto Rico, covering four centuries.

Just before it closes October 10, three AGO talks featuring esteemed guests will help further illuminate some of the exhibition’s key aspects. 

Back on Wednesday, September 8, Adam Harris Levine, AGO Assistant Curator, European Art, was in conversation with Professor Ximena Gómez about the lives and identities of Black and Indigenous artists in colonial Peru. They examined and highlighted objects from Faith and Fortune, and considered the incomplete histories of Peruvian art and its artists under Spanish colonization.

On Monday, September 26 via Facebook live, AGO Conservator of Photographs Katharine Whitman and Adam Harris Levine were joined by Dr. Noemí Espinosa Fernandez, Assistant Curator of the Hispanic Society Museum and Library, for a discussion about daguerreotypes from the Philippines. They focused on Plazuela de San Gabriel, Manila, Philippines, a daguerreotype attributed to Jules Alphonse Eugene Itier (1802-1877), on view as part of Faith and Fortune, courtesy of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library. This discussion highlighted the daguerreotype process and its creation in the Philippines in the early 1840s, right after the introduction of daguerreotypes in France in 1839, and the conservation concerns behind displaying this artwork. 

Finally, on Tuesday, September 27, Levine was in conversation via Zoom with Charlene Villaseñor Black,  Professor of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Associate Director of the Chicano Studies Research Center, editor of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and founding editor-in-chief of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture (UC Press). During the discussion they talked about the lives, identities and traditions of Black and Indigenous artists in colonial Mexico, examining and highlight objects from Faith and Fortune, while also reviewing the rise of local saints like the Virgin of Guadalupe and the invention of new artistic forms through creative dialogue across the Pacific Ocean. Visit the AGO homepage for video of this conversation. 

Check out these free digital talks and don’t miss Faith and Fortune, on view now until October 10 at the AGO.

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