The Roberta and Richard Huber Colloquium on the Arts and Visual Culture of Spain and the Colonial Americas

The Colloquium is approaching its twentieth year. This series of lectures and panel discussions held two to three times per semester brings scholars from the U.S. and abroad to explore art historical and broader contextual subjects relating to the arts as well as the visual and material cultures of Spain, from ancient to modern time periods, and the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking Americas from the first Contact era to the nineteenth century. Founded by Professors Jonathan Brown, Robert Lubar and Edward Sullivan, the Colloquium is now organized by Professor Sullivan.

The Colloquium has been successful in enhancing the strength of the fields of Spanish and Portuguese arts from the virtually all time periods. Spanish art history has been a traditional strong suit of the Institute from its founding in the late 1920s under the directorship of Walter W.S. Cook, an eminent Hispanist. In recent years we have hosted several distinguished alumni of the Institute as speakers. They include Nuno Senos, professor at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Jeffrey Schrader, professor at the University of Colorado, Denver. Curators from the Metropolitan Museum, The Hispanic Society and The Frick Collection (among other museums) have presented their research at the Colloquium, as have faculty members from universities throughout the U.S., South America, the Caribbean and Europe. For the 2016-17 academic year we have a compelling series of speakers for both semesters.

The Colloquium is the product of the generosity and continuing support of Roberta and Richard Huber, and we thank them heartily for making the current year’s activities possible.

Check the events calendar for upcoming lectures in this series.


April 7, 2021
Speaker: David Pullins
Title: "Juan de Pareja, seeing beyond Velázquez"
with David Pullins, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Description: The Afro-Hispanic painter Juan de Pareja's life and artistic personality have been overwhelmingly read through the lens of Diego Velázquez, in whose household Pareja was enslaved for over two decades and who portrayed Pareja in the well-known portrait in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the nineteenth century, however, before the public accessibility of Velázquez's portrait and while Spanish art was still being written into the canon, writers and collectors treated Pareja as an independent figure with a depth and nuance that has been lost. This lecture aims to recenter Pareja by contextualizing what is known of his life and enslaved labor in seventeenth-century Spain while also attending to what we can glean from Pareja's own paintings executed following his manumission in 1654. Rather than read Pareja's artistic legacy as the product of years spent in Velázquez's studio, his paintings will be interpreted as the result of an extended Grand Tour education and the artist's response to his Madrid School contemporaries. Because some of the most conventional art historical tools – questions of stylistic development, influence, attribution and patronage – have been almost entirely ignored in Pareja's case, beginning to articulate his artistic agency using his canvases as primary evidence helps us to shift his position from remarkable subject to remarkable producer of works of art.

David Pullins, Associate Curator, Department of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is responsible for seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French, Italian and Spanish painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He received his MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art and his PhD from Harvard University with a dissertation that addressed workshop practices in eighteenth-century France. He has published widely on seventeenth- through nineteenth-century paintings, drawings, and prints.

The Colloquium is the product of the generosity and continuing support of Roberta and Richard Huber, and we thank them heartily for making the current year’s activities possible.

December 1, 2020
Speakers: Arlene Dávila, Professor of Anthropology and American Studies at New York University; Miriam Margarita Basilio Gaztambide, Associate Professor of Art History, and Museum Studies at New York University; and Edward J. Sullivan, Deputy Director; Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the History of Art; The Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences
Title: A Conversation on Latinx Art featuring Arlene Dávila & Miriam Basilio, moderated by Professor Edward J. Sullivan

Watch A Conversation on Latinx Art online [opens in new window]

Professor Arlene Dávila (NYU Department of Anthropology) recently published a provocative and highly informative book entitled Latinx Art: Artists, Markets and Politics (Duke University Press). This landmark publication treats the phenomenon of contemporary art by U.S. artists of Latin American descent ("Latinx" is a term that denotes gender neutrality). Dávila's deft analyses are essential for an understanding of a sector of the U.S. art world that has sometimes been less recognized by the museum and gallery establishment. In this conversation, Dávila will join Dr. Miriam Basilio (PhD, IFA) of NYU's Museum Studies Program and the Department of Art History to delve into the numerous compelling artistic and social issues of her subject.

This talk focuses on abstract art’s political Arlene Dávila is a recognized public intellectual focusing on questions of cultural equity and a leader in the field of Latinx and critical race studies. She is the author of six books focusing on Latinx cultural politics spanning the media, urban politics, museums, and contemporary art markets, all characterized by a rigorous global and political economic perspective. A Professor of Anthropology and American Studies, she is also the founding director of The Latinx Project.

Miriam Margarita Basilio Gaztambide is Associate Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at New York University. Between 2001-2005, she was a Curatorial Assistant in the Departments of Painting and Sculpture and Drawings at The Museum of Modern Art. There she co-curated Tempo (MoMAQNS 2002) and Caribbean and Latin American Art: MoMA at El Museo (organized with El Museo del Barrio, 2004). Her book Visual Propaganda, Exhibitions and the Spanish Civil War was published by Routledge in 2013. Retratos Hablados/Spoken Portraits, an artist’s book with an essay, was published by Mudito & Co. in 2020. Currently, she is writing a book on the history of MoMA’s modernist canon and the definition of “Latin American” art.

The Colloquium is the product of the generosity and continuing support of Roberta and Richard Huber, and we thank them heartily for making the current year’s activities possible.

March 4, 2020
Speaker: Amanda Wunder, Associate Professor, City University of New York; Lehman College and The Graduate Center
Title: A Couturier at Court: Making Spanish Fashion in the Age of Velázquez

This talk goes behind the scenes at the Royal Palace in seventeenth-century Madrid to reconstruct the life and work of a long-forgotten tailor who dressed the court of Philip IV and whose creations—immortalized in Diego Velázquez’s greatest works—shaped the look and legacy of Golden-Age Spain.

December 4, 2019
Aaron Hyman, Johns Hopkins University
Reforming the Baroque, in Bits and Pieces, from Latin America

The Baroque has been conceived as one of art history’s foundational styles. This talk, in examining the transmission of prints from Europe to Latin America and their extensive colonial copying, instead reframes the Baroque in terms of form. Seeing the Baroque from a vantage point staked in Latin America and rearticulating it in terms of formal syntax and pictorial recombination has ramifications both for the ways we look at European art and, more broadly, for interrogating some of art history’s seminal historiographic assumptions.

September 11, 2019
Eleanor Harvey, Senior Curator Smithsonian American Art Museum
Alexander von Humboldt and the United states: Art, Nature, and Culture

Description: Alexander von Humboldt was arguably the most important naturalist of the 19th century. He lived for 90 years, published more than 36 books, traveled across three continents, and wrote well over 25,000 letters to an international network of colleagues and admirers. In 1804, after traveling almost five years in South America and Mexico, Humboldt spent exactly six weeks in the United States. Humboldt—through a series of lively exchanges of ideas about the arts, science, politics, and exploration with influential figures such as President Thomas Jefferson and artist Charles Willson Peale—shaped American perceptions of nature and the way American cultural identity became grounded in our relationship with the environment. This lecture examines the legacy of that short trip in American art and culture.

April 30, 2019
Juan Sanchez

March 7, 2019
Jordana Mendelson, "Provocations on Paper: Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí in NYC"

Abstract: This lecture explores how Miró and Dalí were promoted by their New York dealers, and how their approaches to the design and distribution of the ephemera that accompanied their exhibitions ultimately correlated to differences in their critical fortunes, especially as related to their paired exhibitions at the MoMA in 1941. Miró and his dealer Pierre Matisse represent a craftsman’s concern with paper and the prestige of a well-made publication; Dalí and his dealer Julien Levy represent a much closer connection with the surrealist use of and interest in ephemera. Both artists brought to their experiences in NYC the European avant-garde’s fascination with paper as a tool for promotion and controversy.

April 26, 2016
Irene V. Small
, Assistant Professor of Art and Archeology, Princeton University
Poor Image and Meta-Medium: Hércules Florence and the Invention of Photography in Brazil

March 23, 2016
Nuno Senos 

The exotic as a problem in 16th-century Portugal

February 16, 2016
Ananda Cohen Suarez, Assistant Professor, Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University 
Painted Archives: Murals of Colonial Peru

March 5, 2015
Rachel Weiss, Professor of Arts Administration and Policy , School of the Art Institute of Chicago
The Tenuous Moonlight of an Unrequited Past

February 17, 2015
Denise Birkhofer, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin University
The Body and the Void in the Art of Mira Schendel and Eva Hesse

December 11, 2014
Thomas Kaufmann, Frederick Marquand Professor of Art and Archaeology Princeton University
Reflections on World Art History

November 25, 2014
Barbara Mundy, Associate Professor , Fordham University
The death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the life of Mexico City

November 13, 2014
Niria E. Leyva-Gutiérrez, Assistant Professor of Art History and Museum Studies , Long Island University
Transfigurations and Transformations: Religious Imagery in Seventeenth-Century Puebla

May 1, 2014
Terry Riley , Architectural Innovation in Spain: Post-Bilbao and Pre-Crisis

February 20, 2014
Adele Nelson, Assistant Professor of Art History , Temple University
A Genealogy of Modernism for Brazil: Mário Pedrosa and the Second São Paulo Bienal

February 6, 2014
Jonathan Brown, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts , Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
El Greco and Ribera: The Workshop as Factory

October 31, 2013
Luisa Elena Alcalá Profesora titular de Historia del arte , Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
The Problem of the Canon and the History of Spanish Colonial Painting.

October 17, 2013
Ilona Katzew, Curator and co-Head of Latin American Art , Los Angeles County Museum
Eighteenth-Century Painting in Mexico: Thoughts on the State of the Field

September 26, 2013
Eduardo Douglas, Associate Professor of Art History, University of North Carolina

April 11, 2013
Richard Kagan, Professor, Department of History, Johns Hopkins University
The Spanish Craze: America Discovers and Displays Spanish Art, 1890-1930

March 28, 2013
Ronda Kasl, Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture before 1800 , Indianapolis Museum of Art 
Virtue Exemplified: Sovereignty and Salvation at the Cartuja de Miraflores

November 15, 2012
Michele Greet
Associate Professor of Art History , George Mason University
The Artists of the Bulletin de l’Effort Moderne: Latin Americans in Paris

October 24, 2012
Latin American Forum sponsored by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art
Dawn Ades, Professor of the History & Theory of Art , University of Essex and Independent Curator
Surrealism & the Surrealists in Mexico 1940-1947

September 20, 2012
Timothy Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor , History of Art, Yale University
Art History vs Victorian Jamaica

April 5, 2012
Juanjosé Lahuerta Professor of the History of Art , School of Architecture, Barcelona; Senior Curator, Museu Picasso, Barcelona; Juan Carlos I Professor, New York University (Spring 2012)
Dalí and Architecture: Anachronic Modernism
Watch this lecture online.

March 8, 2012
John Loomis, Director, School of Art and Design of San Jose State University
Revolution of Forms, Cuba's Forgotten Art Schools

February 9, 2012
Jesús Escobar, Associate Professor and Chair , Department of Art History, Northwestern University
Madrid Urbs Regia: The Seventeenth-Century City and Its Representation

December 1, 2011
Luis Castañeda , Assistant Professor of Art History , Syracuse University
Museum, Monument, City: Archaeologies of Power in Modern Mexico

November 10, 2011
Javier Bonnin, Bonnin Orozco Arquitectos
The Intersection of Architecture and Expressions of Identity in Ponce, Puerto Rico

October 6, 2011
Stella Nair, Assistant Professor , University of California, Riverside
Architectural Paradigms of the Conquest: The Incas, the Spanish and the Church of Nuestra Senora de Montserrat

April 21, 2011
James Oles , Senior Lecturer , Art Department and Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art, Davis Museum, Wellesley College
The Cézanne Effect in Latin America: From Rivera to Soto

March 3, 2011
Diana Fane, Curator Emerita , Arts of the Americas, Brooklyn Museum
From Feather Shields to Coats of Arms: Iconographies of Place and Power in 16th Century Mexico

April 21, 2011
James Oles
, Senior Lecturer, Art Department and Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art, Davis Museum, Wellesley College
The Cézanne Effect in Latin America: From Rivera to Soto

March 3, 2011
Diana Fane
, Curator Emerita , Arts of the Americas, Brooklyn Museum
From Feather Shields to Coats of Arms: Iconographies of Place and Power in 16th Century Mexico

February 17, 2011
Daniel Haxall, Assistant Professor , Department of Fine Arts, Kutztown University
Esteban Vicente, Abstract Expressionism, and the Spanish Legacy of Collage

November 9, 2010
Nuno Senos
, Resident Director , CIEE Study Center Lisbon and Associate Researcher, Centro de História de Além-Mar FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
"Counter-curved Walls and National Identity in Brazil"

October 14, 2010
Jo Labanyi, Director, King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU and Professor , Department of Spanish and Portuguese, NYU
"Noir Visuality in Spanish Cinema of the Early Franco Dictatorship: Complicating Regime Ideology”

September 23, 2010
Laura Bass
, Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies , Tulane University
"Picturing Baroque Madrid: Social Geographies and Urban Curiosities"

April 15, 2010
Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro
, Director , Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
The Reinvention of European Abstraction in Argentina 1944-1950

February 18, 2010
Edward Sullivan
, Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the History of Art , Institute of Fine Arts
Hatian Art after ca. 1945: A Trans-Continental Context

January 21, 2010
Luis Pérez-Oramas,
The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art , MoMA
Alejandro Otero, Abstraction as Lightning: Quae Pingi Non Possunt