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Depictions of Daily Life: Casta Paintings from 18th-Century Mexico

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet Map & Directions


Presented by Donna Pierce, Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of Spanish Colonial Art, Denver Art Museum

The exhibition American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Transatlantic World provides an opportunity to reflect on cultural trade between the New World and Old World. Prefiguring the Enlightenment, a new and unique genre of painting developed in Mexico about 1700. Known as casta (caste) paintings, sets of 14 to 16 canvases portrayed mixed-race families in domestic or occupational settings, offering a rare glimpse into daily life in the Spanish colony of Mexico in the 18th century.  

This lecture examines casta sets—often commissioned for export to Spain—which advertised the natural abundance, in both products and people, of the American territories and exhibited a new sense of chauvinism and pride about the wealth of the Americas. A reception follows.

Reserve your free ticket in advance! Click the "Get Tickets" button and use your own printer; call 713.639.7771; or visit any MFAH admissions desk.

Education programs receive generous funding from the Kinder Foundation; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; ExxonMobil; the Favrot Fund; the National Museum of Korea; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Susanne M. and Melbern G. Glasscock; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; The Americana Foundation; An Anonymous Donor; Mr. William J. Hill; Cameron International Corporation; Houston Junior Woman’s Club; the Sterling-Turner Foundation; and The Susan Vaughan Foundation.