New Book | Companion to Glitterati: Portraits and Jewelry

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 3, 2016

The exhibition, which opened in December 2014, is on view through November 2016. The catalogue has just been published by the University of Oklahoma Press:

Donna Pierce and Julie Wilson Frick, Companion to Glitterati: Portraits and Jewelry from Colonial Latin America at the Denver Art Museum (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016), 96 pages, ISBN: 978-0914738756, $15.

Glitterati front cover SMALLDuring the Spanish Colonial period in Latin America (1521–1850), precious gold and silver were crafted into elegant jewelry, then embellished with emeralds from Colombia, coral from Mexico, and pearls from Venezuela. To demonstrate their wealth and status, people were painted wearing their finest dress and elaborate jewelry. Selecting from its permanent collection, the Denver Art Museum installed the long-running exhibition Glitterati: Portraits and Jewelry in Colonial Latin America in its Spanish Colonial galleries in December 2014. This lavishly illustrated publication serves as a companion to the Glitterati exhibition and, on a larger scale, to the collection of Spanish Colonial jewelry and portraiture at the museum.

The Spanish Colonial collection at the Denver Art Museum is the most comprehensive of its kind in the United States and one of the best in the world with outstanding examples of painting, sculpture, furniture, decorative arts, silver and goldwork, and jewelry from all over Latin America during the time of the Spanish colonies. The Stapleton Foundation of Latin American Colonial Art, made possible by the Renchard family, gifted art acquired by the intrepid Daniel C. Stapleton between 1895 and 1914, when he worked in Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela overseeing plantations and emerald mines. Frederick and Jan Mayer worked closely with museum curators to build a collection of Mexican colonial art rich in many subjects and media, notably portrait paintings. Examples from both of these major collections are augmented by other pieces of jewelry and portraiture from the museum’s permanent collection in the Glitterati exhibition and in this volume.

Donna Pierce is Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of Spanish Colonial Art at the Denver Art Museum and Head of the New World Department.
Julie Wilson Frick is the Mayer Center Program Coordinator and Junior Scholar in the New World Department at the Denver Art Museum.

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