Symposium | Spain and the Hispanic World

Posted in books, catalogues, conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on March 20, 2023

Giovanni Vespucci, World Map, 1526, ink and colour on four sheets of parchment, 85 × 262 cm
(New York: The Hispanic Society of America)

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This week at the RA, in connection with the exhibition Spain and the Hispanic World, on view until 10 April 2023:

Spain and the Hispanic World Symposium: Cross-Cultural Exchanges
Royal Academy of Arts, London, 24 March 2023

The Royal Academy of Arts will host an academic symposium exploring the global exchange of Spanish art and culture—from the Islamic legacy of Al-Andalus to the transatlantic connections between Spain and Latin America. This interdisciplinary symposium, timed to coincide with our exhibition of treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, explores current academic perspectives on the histories of cultural exchange surrounding the Spanish and Latin American worlds.

We begin by considering material cultures through the movement of objects, tracing global exchange in the contexts of empire and colonialism. We move on to consider global imperialism through the lens of faith, studying religious art and objects. From the society of Al-Andalus to the history of Spanish Catholicism in Mexico, we look beyond the export of Spanish culture, to the influences and exchanges that were simultaneously being brought back into Iberia. Finally, we explore the legacies of Spanish art and literature in Latin America, investigating the layers of cultural difference caused by colonialism, as well as using a materials-based approach to investigate how these layers appear in objects and artworks. The symposium concludes with an artist in-conversation with Ana Maria Pachecho, exploring how the themes and ideas discussed throughout the day are still relevant to contemporary artist practice.

This intensive one-day symposium is a key moment in driving forward conversations and discussions on the art of the Latin world and is open to scholars, enthusiasts, and anyone wanting to know more about this groundbreaking exhibition. Ticket fees (£45 / £15) include exclusive early-morning access to the RA’s exhibition Spain and the Hispanic World starting at 8:30am and a drinks reception at 6:00pm.

This will be the first iteration of an annual symposium made possible by the Armando Garza-Sada Sr. Endowment for the Arts.


Andrew M. Beresford is Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Durham, and has published widely on Iberian art and literature, focusing principally on the cults of the saints and the signifying potential of the human body. His most recent book (2020) offered a study of the flaying of St Bartholomew.

Caroline Egan is Assistant Professor of Colonial Latin American Literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University. Her research examines the portrayal of Indigenous languages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing especially on works composed in and about Nahuatl, Quechua, and Tupi and their circulation in the transatlantic world. Dr Egan has published in the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Review, and Latin American Literature in Transition Pre-1492-1800, edited by Rocío Quispe-Agnoli and Amber Brian (Cambridge University Press).

Akemi Luisa Herráez Vossbrink is a Researcher at Nicolás Cortés Gallery in Madrid, an Old Master gallery focusing on Spanish, Italian, and Latin American art from the fifteenth century to the early twentieth century. She has been the Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Fellow at the Wallace Collection, as well as a curatorial fellow at the National Gallery and the Meadows Museum. Her doctoral thesis at Cambridge focused on Spanish seventeenth-century artist Francisco de Zurbarán and his reception in the Americas.

Claudia Hopkins is Director of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art at Durham University, and Associate Editor of the Getty-funded journal Art in Translation. She has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish art and curated the exhibition La España romántica. David Roberts y Genaro Pérez Villaamil (Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 2021–22). Her forthcoming book discusses Spanish art in relation to attitudes to al-Andalus and Morocco (from Romantic liberalism in the 1830s, to colonial discourse before Moroccan independence in 1956).

IIona Katzew is Curator and Department Head of Latin American Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Her most recent exhibition Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800 (2022) foregrounds the museum’s notable holdings of viceregal art. She was project director and co-curator of Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici (2017–18), which travelled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Fomento Cultural Banamex, Mexico City. She holds fellowships from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Getty, and Fulbright. In 2018 she was selected by Artsy as one of the top 20 international curators taking a cutting-edge approach to art history.

Emmanuel Ortega is the Marilynn Thoma Scholar and Assistant Professor in Art of the Spanish Americas at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Scholar in Residence at the Newberry Library for 2022–23. Ortega has lectured internationally on images of autos-de-fe, nineteenth-century Mexican landscape painting, and visual representations of the New Mexico Pueblo peoples in Novohispanic Franciscan martyr paintings. Ortega has curated the exhibition Contemporary Ex-Votos: Devotion Beyond Medium, at the New Mexico State University Art Museum.

Adjoa Osei is a Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. She is a cultural historian whose research explores themes that are at the intersection of Performing Arts, Afro-Latin American Studies, and Francophone Studies. Her PhD, from the University of Liverpool, was in Latin American Studies, and her MPhil, from the University of Oxford, was in Portuguese Studies. Her research has been published in journals including Atlantic Studies and the Journal of Romance Studies, and she is a BBC New Generation Thinker.

Gabriela Siracusano is Scientific Researcher at CONICET (National Research Council, Argentina) and Director of the Centro MATERIA at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), as well as Chair Professor at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Getty Scholar, and has authored books including Pigments and Power in the Andes (London, Archetype, 2011) and Materia Americana (2020) (in co-edition with Agustina R. Romero). She received the 2022 Gratia Artis Award by the National Academy of Fine Arts.

Lucy West is Assistant Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, where her focus is on the Spanish and Italian paintings. She was previously Assistant Curator of Paintings at the Royal Collection Trust, London, and has worked across curatorial departments at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull; the National Gallery, London; and Compton Verney, Warwickshire. Lucy is also completing an AHRC-funded PhD with the National Gallery, the Bowes Museum, and Leeds University, interrogating the roles of art dealers and agents in the market for Old Master paintings in nineteenth-century Britain.

Ana Maria Pachecho is a Brazilian artist who has lived in England since 1973. Pacheco is best known for her dramatic polychrome wooden sculptures. Her work draws upon the rich diversity of Latin American culture with echoes of African art, a reminder of the slave trade’s links with Brazil. She was the National Gallery’s Associate Artist between 1997 and 2000, when she produced the monumental multi-figured sculpture Dark Night of the Soul, inspired by the work of the sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, Saint John of the Cross. Her work has been shown in Cathedrals at Chichester, Norwich, and Salisbury, and most recently at the Galway International Arts Festival in 2022.

Colin Wiggins was Head of Education and Special Projects Curator at the National Gallery. He was responsible for the Associate Artist scheme and worked with artists such as Paula Rego, Peter Blake, and Michael Landy.


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