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Exploring the Arts of Latin America

4 Session Afternoon Course

4 sessions from August 9 to August 12, 2021
Code: 1H0616
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Olmec head, Xalapa Museum, Mexico (Southern Methodist University)

From colossal Olmec heads to the paintings of Frida Kahlo, Aztec temples to Mexican murals, this survey of Latin American art sweeps through the centuries and locations including ancient Mesoamerica, coastal Peru, and the top of the Andes. Michele Greet, associate professor and director of the art history program at George Mason University, traces the significant creators, works, influences, and trends that defined and shaped the arts of Latin America from their earliest expressions through the 19th and 20th centuries.

AUG 9  The Arts of Ancient Mesoamerica

Working in stone, paint, gold, and feathers, ancient Mesoamerican artists rendered images of their leaders and gods, their myths, and sacrificial rituals. Artisans also played a major role in chronicling Mayan ball games and in designing calendar systems. The session covers various Olmec and Mayan sites, as well as the great cities of Teotihuacan and Tenochtitlan.

AUG 10  The Arts of the Andes

Start with a bird’s-eye view of the giant geoglyphs known as the Nazca Lines, then survey the unique pottery, textiles, and gold work from coastal Peru. Travel high into the Andes to Cuzco and the royal retreat at Machu Picchu to examine the intricate masonry of Incan cities, temples, and fortresses. 

AUG 11  The Arts of Viceregal Latin America

What happens when worlds collide—and mix? Through an examination of religious architecture and religious and secular painting, Greet discusses the unique expressions of cultural identity that emerged in the Americas during the colonial era.

AUG 12  Modern Art in Latin America

Key figures in modernism including the Mexican muralists, the artists of the Taller Torres-García workshop school, and numerous women artists (Frida Kahlo, Maria Izquierdo, Remedios Varo, Amelia Pelaez, and Tarsila do Amaral) made unique contributions to Latin American art. Look at how these artists employed modernist visual languages to communicate on regional, national, and global levels.

4 sessions

World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit*

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 core course credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.