ANN : Collecting Mexican Art before 1940: A New World of American Antiquities, Friday, November 15, 2019, from 10 am – 5:30 pm Museum Lecture Hall, Getty Center, Los Angeles

Drawing of Mexican antiquities (detail, color modified), Maximilian Franck, 1829. Trustees of the British Museum, Am2006, Drg.128
Source: Getty

This international symposium is the inaugural event associated with the Getty Research Institute’s new Pre-Hispanic Art Provenance Initiative. Responding to the pressing need for preservation of ancient Mesoamerican heritage and its provenance, the initiative comprises the first systematic study of how the corpus of pre-Hispanic art took shape in North America and Europe and came to form centerpiece collections of some of the most important art museums in the world.

Speakers focus on early collections assembled between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. The year 1940—when the Museum of Modern Art hosted the groundbreaking exhibition Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art, featuring works of Mexican ancient, colonial, modern, and folk art—marks the turning point when sales of pre-Hispanic art began to boom on the international art market, in part through the commercial activities of the Stendahl Gallery in Los Angeles. This symposium presents efforts of curators and scholars to study these collections comprehensively and to investigate the broader role of pre-Hispanic art in the history of the art market and in the formation of international collections and institutions.

A public reception follows the event.

Miruna Achim, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa
Christopher S. Beekman, University of Colorado Denver
Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos, Yale University
Davide Domenici, Università di Bologna
Viola König, Freie Universität Berlin
Brooke Luokkala, Emory University
Mary Miller, Getty Research Institute
Megan E. O’Neil, Emory University
Joanne Pillsbury, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Kim Richter, Getty Research Institute
Matthew H. Robb, Fowler Museum at UCLA
Adam Sellen, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mérida
Andrew Turner, Getty Research Institute
Khristaan Villela, Museum of International Folk Art

Related lecture:“Good Pieces in Sight”: The US Market in Mesoamerican Antiquities circa 1940