Tag Archives: americas

Call For Papers: Fashion, Costume, and Consumer Culture in Iberia and Latin America: A Session in Honor of Gridley McKim-Smith, CAA conference, 21-24 February 2018, Los Angeles

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María Cristina de Borbon, Queen of Spain, Vicente López Portaña ©Museo Nacional del Prado

For the next annual conference of the College Art Association (CAA), scheduled for 21-24 February 2018 in Los Angeles, the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies is organizing a panel in memory of the Hispanist Gridley McKim-Smith (1943-2013).  The chairs, Mey-Yen Moriuchi and Mark Castro, invite paper proposals by August 14.

Fashion, Costume, and Consumer Culture in Iberia and Latin America: A Session in Honor of Gridley McKim-Smith
“Material splendor—rare and exquisite fabrics, dazzling displays of wealth and sartorial beauty—is a compelling value in Hispanic-American clothing” (McKim-Smith, Lexikon of the Hispanic Baroque 2013, 111).  Gridley McKim-Smith (1943–2013) argued that the “profound materiality and sensuality of costume is crucial in Spain’s American possessions, where only stuffs recognized as prestigious can insulate the wearer from public disgrace and where the most sumptuous silks or alpacas, sometimes interwoven with precious metals, can make the wearer both admired and desired.” (114)  In honor of the late McKim-Smith’s research interests and scholarship this session will consider representations of dress and fashion in Iberia and Latin America.  In the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds, depictions of costumes in paintings, sculptures, prints, and other visual media, as well as the creation of textiles and garments, demonstrate the power of dress in the construction of social, racial, gender, and cultural identities.  The existence of extensive global trade networks facilitated the exchange and synthesis of artistic practices and craftsmanship permitting unique garments and objects which revealed the wearer’s style, aesthetic preferences, and social status.  We seek papers from broad geographical and chronological periods, from Pre-Columbian to Modern, that consider the role of fashion, costume, and consumer culture in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds.  How do clothes mediate identity, ideology, social rank, and subjectivity?  What is the relationship between consumer culture and conspicuous consumption in Iberia and Latin America?  How did dimensions of lived experience—psychological, performative, and political—survive in articles of dress?
Chairs: Mey-Yen Moriuchi, La Salle University, moriuchi@lasalle.edu; Mark Castro, Philadelphia Museum of Art, mcastro@philamuseum.org
The deadline for submissions is Monday, August 14. Click here for CAA’s proposal guidelines, which indicate that speakers on the panel must be members of CAA.  Decisions on the proposals will be sent by Monday, August 28.  If you have questions, please reach out to the chairs.
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Priceless Pre-Columbian Gold Breastplate Now on Display at Buckingham Palace

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Panamanian gold breastplate, dated in exhibition to 1200-1300, but experts now suggest 700-1000 (Image: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017)

The Art Newspaper reports that a gold breast-plate presented by the Panamanian president General José Remón Cantera to Queen Elizabeth in 1953 is now on display at Buckingham Palace.

Long kept in storage as a piece of secondary importance, the breastplate was re-discovered by Royal Collection curator Sally Goodsir. Now exhibited in the Royal Gifts  Summer Exhibition at Buckingham Palace (until 1 October), the breastplate is dated to the 13th century in the exhibition catalogue.
However, the object may be much older: according to Kate Jarvis, a British Museum curator of the Americas, it is an example of tumbaga work, a term for an alloy of gold and copper that was used in Pre-Columbian central America, dating to as early as AD 700. Her opinion is shared by Warwick Bray, a professor emeritus at University College London, who dates the piece to AD 700-1000 and considers it a very large pendant to be hung on a necklace rather than a breastplate.

The future of the object after the end of the Summer Exhibition is still under discussion.