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Latin American perspectives a program of comment and analysis about current Latin American problems and their historical setting. The commentator for these programs is Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Here now is Dr. Gardner. Have you defined art lately. To some it's simply get that stuff. To others it is painting or sculpture or architecture or. And so the list grows say Mexican art to most individuals and you evoke modern murals by Rivera and his contemporaries say Mexican art to Manuel to sun. And you have much more far to send spelled t o u s s a i n t stands as the finest historian of Mexican art.. It is a volume of his today to which I would refer you. This is untitled colonial art in
Mexico published by the University of Texas press. The translation from a work originally in the Spanish in 1909 has been by art historian Elizabeth Wilder Weissman who is in her own right an authority on Mexican sculpture. The three hundred years between conquest by Spain and the winning of Independence saw a special and characteristic culture developed in Mexico. This was a frontier society but a rich one with all the resources of Imperial Spain and the Roman church to develop and support the natural wealth of the lact public and private buildings were ornamented with rich sculpture and embellished with colorful paintings depicting religious scenes and views of daily life a wealth of minor arts supply jewelry for the nobility and liturgical objects for the churches. The vice royalty of
New Spain as Mexico was known in Colonial use stretched from Guatemala to California and embraced Indian cultures of considerable variety. In this period the preponderantly Indian population was converted to Christian new and introduced to the civilization of post Renaissance Europe. Artists came to Mexico from the old world and brought with them the current styles. But most of the practicing artisans had never seen Europe natives of New Spain of both Indian and Spanish blood. They developed the imported styles in to new modes appropriate to the new country that was to become Mexico. This art has a visual record of acculturation is of utmost sociological interest. It is this great corpus of art ranging from primitive and medieval through Renaissance and Baroque
to the 19th century neo classic and popular art which concerns to sound. In this book on Colonial Mexican art. It is the cornerstone of the study of Mexican colonial art and this volume is the first attempt to consider the whole panorama of one of the most interesting varied and significant of the American cultures in its colonial phase. A word about money well two sons born in 1890 and Mexico City he died there in 1955. But in the intervening 65 years he more than anyone else was responsible for the world growing appreciation of the totality of Mexican art. He traveled in Spain and he arouse some interest in Mexican vice regal heritage and for 40 years he with an unrivaled acquaintance with Mexican art explored and wrote about
commented upon the monuments of his native land. Scholars accustomed to the well cultivated fields of European art can have no notion what it was like when the Trailblazer Manuel Toussaint set about it in the early 1920s. Don't Manuel set out with a handful of companions usually on horseback to visit places that no one had noticed for centuries. There were no secondary texts to use no photographs no paved roads a few maps. In fact he often fell back upon the writings of a 16th century friar. Like Father Ponce for a guide book and travels much as that 16th century church men had. In the 1920s when two cent began to publish his findings and interest in the colonial period was downright unfashionable. Indeed on Mexican those were years in the 1920s when Mexico increasingly conscious of the social
fact that its population was a mixture of Indian and Spaniard was predominantly a mestizo population was coming to emphasize its Indian heritage was tending to play down. In fact in some circles the NA way the Spanish factor in the background and so at a moment when the Spanish factor was in Eclipse you have this man to sign emphasizing the Spanish contribution to Mexican art to scent nonetheless argued and rightly so that 16th century sculpture for example was already an integration of Indian and European styles. But in essence that the 16th century sculpture was a Mexican not a crude failure to import and duplicate the ideas of Europe. The significance of Tucson's work was recognized and he
occupied a chair of history of Mexican art at the National University for many years. He headed the first laboratory of art at the university and later headed the Institute of aesthetic investigations. Indeed in the last decade of his life he was director of the division of colonial monuments of the National Institute of anthropology. We have then in the work of Manuel to sign a survey of Mexican art over a 300 year period. I might add that this bug him is richly illustrated having no fewer than three hundred ninety five reproductions of the subjects about which he is otherwise writing. Many of these incidentally are black and white and many are also rich in color. It's a rather commonplace approach for him in the style in which he
casts his account of colonial Mexican art to deal first with architecture in a sizeable segment of a chapter and then with sculpture and then with painting. And many might conclude that well that has covered the artistic front as he has dealt with the great three architecture sculpture painting. But this is not the view that 2 cent has because invariably there is a fourth call it a miscellany if you like. He calls it the minor arts in which he deals with many many activities of Mexican life that take on a quality of product that indeed becomes a measure of Mexican artistic expression. For example he will have this treatment of part of the 16th century. The consideration of the goldsmith of the silversmith of the lapidary is in their work of the jewelry of the household silver. Indeed of the finer pieces of
furniture the embroidery the weaving the iron work the ceramics the bronze the glass. How many of these things kind of course. Be equated with items that were rather routinely and roughly made simply for a utilitarian world. But we have in to sense treatment of them the finer achievements in all of these areas of life where in the artisan so proud of his ability so concerned about the quality of his materials and his workmanship that he is indeed proud of the artistic nature of the product of it. And so we have as Toussaint would group them the minor arts. Nothing amazed the Europeans more in the conquest of New Spain back in 16th century years and the great quantity of splendid jewels which they found there the Indians indeed were masters in the
art of working in precious metals. The lists of valuable pieces which the Spaniards dispatched to the crown in Europe have been published as well as the tribute lists. But the Indian chieftains had to pay into the Spanish conquerors. From those documents which we still have available we see that it was not simply the intrinsic value of the metal which attracted the Conqueror's But the fact that they were overwhelmed by the beauty of the objects. In fact early conquerers turned satyrs soon commissioned more of these artistic works to be made by the Indian artisans. It was in Europe that these Indian artifacts were considered merely in terms of the value of the metal. Everything was melted down when it arrived from New Spain. So that while today in museums in Spain and elsewhere in Europe there are numerous examples of the fine feather work of the Aztecs.
There is not a single piece of gold work to be found. Well we here on our own day of gold being melted down and shipped in bars from one side of the Atlantic to the other in those days they shipped it over in fine artistic pieces and then with a desire for the metal to become a part of the currency of Europe. We have a ruination as it were a desecration of these artistic works as the gold and silver products were melted down. One great achievement of course in the art history of colonial Mexico has to do with the larger than life equestrian statue produced by Manuel told t o l s a. The sculptures name this great monument to Charles the fourth one of the ne'er do well kings of Spain stands at a busy on a busy thoroughfare in Mexico City and is admired today 175 years after it was
first cast and put before the public gaze. We have in the work. President every day a reminder of the greatness of colonial art. There are those who have wandered down the main streets of Mexico City past the resk style of the SAA Gratiano the building adjacent to the cathedral. And those who have looked at the cathedral itself and have been aware of architectural patterns of the colonial period there have been those who in Mexico as tourists have noted the house of tiles and have the judge did a thing of beauty indeed an artistic creation. We have then for those who think only of Rivera of mural art of modern Mexico something new a grand volume to be put on the table
top of volume for browsing a volume for the nightstand something that you will want to refer to time and time again. And that is the volume of colonial art in Mexico authored by money well Tucson. Published in lush fashion by the University of Texas press. This was a Latin American perspectives with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program on Dr. Gardner We'll examine another aspect of life in Latin America Latin American perspectives is produced and recorded by station ws IUF am at Southern Illinois University and is distributed by the national educational radio network.
The Institute on Man and Science
Role of the urban coalition
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Institute on Man and Science
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program features the lecture "The Role of the Urban Coalition" by Christian A. Herter, Jr., Vice President, Mobil Oil Company and Chairman, New York Urban Coalition.
Series Description
A lecture and discussion series on major current problems like urban decay; pollution; space exploration; and the role of science in finding solutions. Talks were held during the summer of 1968 at the Institute on Man and Science, New York.
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Producing Organization: Institute on Man and Science
Speaker: Herter, Christian, 1919-2007
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-33-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:26:44
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Chicago: “The Institute on Man and Science; Role of the urban coalition,” 1968-10-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “The Institute on Man and Science; Role of the urban coalition.” 1968-10-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: The Institute on Man and Science; Role of the urban coalition. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from