Art Museums of Latin America : Structuring Representation book cover
1st Edition

Art Museums of Latin America
Structuring Representation

ISBN 9781138712591
Published March 16, 2018 by Routledge
274 Pages - 66 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Since the late nineteenth century, art museums have played crucial social, political, and economic roles throughout Latin America because of the ways that they structure representation. By means of their architecture, collections, exhibitions, and curatorial practices, Latin American art museums have crafted representations of communities, including nation states, and promoted particular group ideologies. This collection of essays, arranged in thematic sections, will examine the varying and complex functions of art museums in Latin America: as nation-building institutions and instruments of state cultural politics; as foci for the promotion of Latin American modernities and modernisms; as sites of mediation between local and international, private and public interests; as organizations that negotiate cultural construction within the Latin American diaspora and shape constructs of Latin America and its nations; and as venues for the contestation of elitist and Eurocentric notions of culture and the realization of cultural diversity rooted in multiethnic environments.

Table of Contents

Part I

Art Museums and State Politics

1 From Universalist to National Art: The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires

Maria Isabel Baldasarre

2 Mexico’s Museo de Artes Plásticas: The Divergent Discourses of 1934 and 1947

Ana Garduño

3 History and Metamorphosis: Cuba’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Ingrid W. Elliott

4 Incendiary Objects: An Episodic History of the Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro

Aleca Le Blanc

Part II

Art Museums as Constructions of Modernity

5 Pedrosa and Malraux: Impossible Meetings in the "Museum of Copies"

Natália Quinderé

6 A Museum without a Venue: The Invention of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, 1955–1963

Nadia Moreno Moya

7 The Architecture of Mexico’s Museo de Arte Moderno: A Stimulus to Museological Renewal

Georgina Cebey

Part III

Local Dynamics of Internationalism

8 The São Paulo Biennial Complex: MAM–BSP–MAC

Isobel Whitelegg

9 Local Processes and Transnational Circuits: The Inter-American Project and the Birth of Modern Art Museums in Barranquilla and Cartagena

Isabel Cristina Ramírez Botero

10 An Uneasy Alliance: The Early Years of the Museo Tamayo

James Oles

11 Colección Jumex and Mexico’s Art Scene: The Intersection of Public and Private

Lassla Esquivel Durand

Part IV

National and Regional Perspectives from the United States

12 Latin American Art at The University of Texas at Austin: The University Art Museum

Florencia Bazzano

13 Somehow Exceptional: El Museo del Barrio, New York

Deborah Cullen

14 Museum as Battleground: Exile and Contested Cultural Representation in Miami’s Cuban Museum

Elizabeth Cerejido

Part V

Reimagining the Art Museum

15 Revolutionary Modernism: A "Museo de Arte Moderno Americano" Rehearsed in Print in Mexico City, 1926–1928

Harper Montgomery

16 The Museum in Times of Revolution: Regarding Nemesio Antúnez’s Transformation Program for Santiago’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1969–1973

Amalia Cross

17 Critical Deviations in Latin American Museums: The Experiences of the Museo del Barro in Asunción, Paraguay and the Micromuseo in Lima, Peru

Carla Pinochet Cobos


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Michele Greet is associate professor of modern Latin American and European art and director of the art history program at George Mason University .

Gina McDaniel Tarver is associate professor of modern and contemporary art history, with a focus on Latin America, at Texas State University.

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Michele  Greet

Michele Greet

Director, Art History Program, George Mason University
Fairfax, VA, USA

Learn more about Michele Greet »


"This important compendium surveys and explores in rich detail the history and role of museums as arbiters and advocates for art from the region and in distinct Latin American contexts. It is a must read for scholars, professionals and students of Latin America and its art and cultural politics."

- Adriana Zavala, Tufts University

"Art Museums of Latin America is, without a doubt, a compilation that opens a panorama of study that will allow us to not only learn more about the local processes but also, as the editors posit, to reformulate the role of the regional institution in the context of global museum studies."

- Caiana

"...the majority of the chapters feed this argument, showing that museums are not the result of policies from above but of the initiative of collectives, groups, or individuals who must seek the resources and respond to the interests of politics so that their ideas end up succeeding."

- Latin American & Latinx Visual Culture

"Art Museums of Latin America advances the study of the history of art and museology in Latin America, extends the geopolitical limits in order to question precepts, increases the knowledge of these themes in English-speaking countries, and proposes a structure of closer alliances between the Americas."

- Artelogie