Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin

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As part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, The Huntington will present an extensive exhibition surveying the connections among art, science, and the environment in Latin America, from the voyages of Columbus to the publications of Charles Darwin in the mid-19th century. “Visual Voyages” will introduce audiences to new understandings of Latin American nature from a range of cultural perspectives: as a wondrous earthly paradise; as a new source of profitable commodities such as chocolate, tobacco, and cochineal; as a landscape of good and evil, as viewed through the filter of religion; as the site for an Enlightenment project of collecting and classifying; and, in the 19th century, as the reflection of a national spirit. Visual Voyages features approximately 100 objects that are drawn from The Huntington’s library, art, and botanical holdings, as well as from dozens of international collections, in a range of media including paintings, rare books, illustrated manuscripts, prints, and drawings. Importantly, the exhibition and its catalog will bring together Latin American and European depictions of Latin American nature.

 

Exhibition CatalogExhibition Catalog

“Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin” is accompanied by a hardcover book of the same title written by Daniela Bleichmar, co-curator of the exhibition. In a narrative addressed to general audiences as well as students and scholars, Bleichmar reveals the fascinating story of the interrelationship of art and science in Latin America and Europe during the period. Published by Yale University Press in association with The Huntington, the 240-page book contains 153 color illustrations. $50.00. Available beginning in September 2017 at the Huntington Store and online.

Related exhibitions and programs

The Huntington will present an array of public programs to complement “Visual Voyages,” including a lecture, a curator tour, and focused exhibitions.

Guillermo Galindo Installation and Performance

Experimental composer, sonic architect, and performance artist Guillermo Galindo will create an outdoor sound installation and performance at The Huntington during the run of the exhibition. The program is part of USC Annenberg’s Musical Interventions, a series of public events organized for Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA by Josh Kun, historian of popular music and recently named a MacArthur Fellow.

Nuestro Mundo

Sept. 16, 2017–Jan. 8, 2018

Flora-Legium Gallery, Brody Botanical Center, weekends only

About two dozen paintings by students of Art Division make up this installation of works inspired by “Visual Voyages.” Art Division is a non-profit organization dedicated to training and supporting underserved Los Angeles youth who are committed to studying the visual arts.

In Pursuit of Flora: Eighteenth-Century Botanical Drawings from The Huntington’s Art Collections

Oct. 28, 2017–Feb. 19, 2018

Huntington Art Gallery, Works on Paper room

European exploration of other lands during the so-called Age of Discovery revealed a vast new world of plant life that required description, cataloging, and recording. By the 18th century, the practice of botanical illustration had become an essential tool of natural history, and botanical illustrators had developed strategies for presenting accurate information through exquisitely rendered images. From lusciously detailed drawings of fruit and flowers by Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708–1770), a collaborator of Linnaeus, to stunning depictions of more exotic examples by the talented amateur Matilda Conyers (1753–1803), In Pursuit of Flora reveals the 18th-century appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.

Conference at The Getty Center
Indigenous Knowledge and the Making of Colonial Latin America

Dec. 8–10, 2017

This symposium will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to explore the ways in which indigenous knowledge contributed to the making of colonial Latin America. A dozen talks will examine practices related to art, architecture, science, medicine, governance, and the study of the past, among other topics. Curator-led visits to two related exhibitions—“Visual Voyages” at The Huntington and “Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas” at The J. Paul Getty Museum—will allow participants to view magnificent examples of work by indigenous artists and authors, including more than half a dozen rare pictorial manuscripts (codices). The symposium is organized by Daniela Bleichmar, co-curator of Visual Voyages and Kim Richter, co-curator of “Golden Kingdoms” and senior research specialist at the Getty Research Institute, with funding from the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, the Seaver Institute, and the Getty Research Institute. For registration and more information, visit getty.edu.


Images

José María Carbonell, Loranthus, Royal Botanical Expedition to the New Kingdom of Granada led by José Celestino Mutis (1783–1816), tempera on paper, approx. 21¼ × 15 in. Archivo del Real Jardín Botánico- CSIC (Madrid).

José María Carbonell, Loranthus, Royal Botanical Expedition to the New Kingdom of Granada led by José Celestino Mutis (1783–1816), tempera on paper, approx. 21¼ × 15 in. Archivo del Real Jardín Botánico- CSIC (Madrid).

 


Le vrais Bresil es province du Quito (The true Brazil, a province of Quito), in Vallard Atlas, Dieppe (France), 1547, tempera, gold paint, gold leaf, and black ink on parchment, 14 ½ × 18 ¾ in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Le vrais Bresil es province du Quito (The true Brazil, a province of Quito), in Vallard Atlas, Dieppe (France), 1547, tempera, gold paint, gold leaf, and black ink on parchment, 14 ½ × 18 ¾ in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

 


José María Velasco (1840–1912), Valle de México (The Valley of Mexico), 1877, oil on canvas, 63 3/16 × 90 7/16 in. Museo Nacional de Arte, INBA, Mexico City, SIGROPAM 24433. Reproduction authorized by the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature, 2016.

José María Velasco (1840–1912), Valle de México (The Valley of Mexico), 1877, oil on canvas, 63 3/16 × 90 7/16 in. Museo Nacional de Arte, INBA, Mexico City, SIGROPAM 24433. Reproduction authorized by the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature, 2016.

 


Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900), Chimborazo, 1864, oil on canvas, 48 × 84 in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, gift of the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation. © Fredrik Nilsen photography.

Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900), Chimborazo, 1864, oil on canvas, 48 × 84 in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, gift of the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation. © Fredrik Nilsen photography.

 


Albert Eckhout (ca. 1610–1666), Fruits, pineapple and melon, etc., 1640–50, oil on canvas, 35 13/16 × 35 13/16 in. Photo: John Lee, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, N.92.

Albert Eckhout (ca. 1610–1666), Fruits, pineapple and melon, etc., 1640–50, oil on canvas, 35 13/16 × 35 13/16 in. Photo: John Lee, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, N.92.

 


Feathered cape, Tupinambá people, Brazil, 17th century, feathers and vegetable fibers, 70 ¾ × 59 × 39 ⅓ in. Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels, AAM 5783, © RMAH.

Feathered cape, Tupinambá people, Brazil, 17th century, feathers and vegetable fibers, 70 ¾ × 59 × 39 ⅓ in. Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels, AAM 5783, © RMAH.

 


Nopal planta que se cría en la América y que produce la grana (The nopal plant that is grown in America and produces cochineal), in Reports on the History, Organization, and Status of Various Catholic Dioceses of New Spain and Peru, 1620–49, pigment and ink on paper. The Newberry Library, Chicago, Ayer MS 1106 D8 Vault Box 1 Folder 15.

Nopal planta que se cría en la América y que produce la grana (The nopal plant that is grown in America and produces cochineal), in Reports on the History, Organization, and Status of Various Catholic Dioceses of New Spain and Peru, 1620–49, pigment and ink on paper. The Newberry Library, Chicago, Ayer MS 1106 D8 Vault Box 1 Folder 15.

 


Le Chimborazo, vu depuis le plateau de Tapia (Chimborazo Seen from the Tapia Plateau) in Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), Vues des cordillères, et monuments des peuples indigènes de l’Amérique, (View of the cordilleras and monuments of the indigenous peoples of the Americas), Paris: F. Schoell, 1810–13, color aquatint, mezzotint, engraving, and etching with watercolor, 20 × 27 in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Le Chimborazo, vu depuis le plateau de Tapia (Chimborazo Seen from the Tapia Plateau) in Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), Vues des cordillères, et monuments des peuples indigènes de l’Amérique, (View of the cordilleras and monuments of the indigenous peoples of the Americas), Paris: F. Schoell, 1810–13, color aquatint, mezzotint, engraving, and etching with watercolor, 20 × 27 in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

 


Antonio García Cubas (1832–1912), agricultural map in Atlas pintoresco é historico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, (Picturesque and historical atlas of the United States of Mexico), Mexico City: Debray Sucesores, 1885, chromolithograph, 24 13/16 × 30 11/16 in. The Newberry Library, Chicago, Ayer 655.59.G2.

Antonio García Cubas (1832–1912), agricultural map in Atlas pintoresco é historico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, (Picturesque and historical atlas of the United States of Mexico), Mexico City: Debray Sucesores, 1885, chromolithograph, 24 13/16 × 30 11/16 in. The Newberry Library, Chicago, Ayer 655.59.G2.

 


Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590) and indigenous artists and scribes, description and illustration of Mexican medicinal herbs in the Historia General de las Cosas de la Nueva España, (General History of the Things of New Spain), also known as the Florentine Codex, ca. 1577, ink and color on paper, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence Ms. Med. Laur. Palat. 220. Reproduced with permission of MiBACT.

Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590) and indigenous artists and scribes, description and illustration of Mexican medicinal herbs in the Historia General de las Cosas de la Nueva España, (General History of the Things of New Spain), also known as the Florentine Codex, ca. 1577, ink and color on paper, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence Ms. Med. Laur. Palat. 220. Reproduced with permission of MiBACT.

 


Vicente Albán, Yapanga from Quito, Quito (Ecuador), 1783, oil on canvas, 31 ½ × 42 15/16 in. Museo de América, Madrid, 00074.

Vicente Albán, Yapanga from Quito, Quito (Ecuador), 1783, oil on canvas, 31 ½ × 42 15/16 in. Museo de América, Madrid, 00074.

 


Intermediate Stages of Blooming, in John Fisk Allen (1785–1865), Victoria regia; or, The Great Water Lily of America, Boston: Dutton and Wentworth, 1854, chromolithograph, 15 × 21 in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Intermediate Stages of Blooming, in John Fisk Allen (1785–1865), Victoria regia; or, The Great Water Lily of America, Boston: Dutton and Wentworth, 1854, chromolithograph, 15 × 21 in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

 


Major support for this exhibition is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.

Generous support is provided by Scott Jordan, Sharon and John Light, and in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by Laura and Carlton Seaver, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, The Ahmanson Foundation Exhibition and Education Endowment, and The Melvin R. Seiden-Janine Luke Exhibition Fund in memory of Robert F. Erburu.

Paint for this exhibition is provided by Farrow & Ball.

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