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Thursday, May 16 • 10:30am - 11:00am
(Wooden Artifacts) Local Color: The Visual Analysis of a South American Colonial Lacquered Gourd in the Collection of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library

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The Hispanic Society of America has a small but very fine collection of colonial Spanish American lacquered objects, which are decorated with one of the more widely known indigenous lacquer techniques, barniz de Pasto. The HSA’s objects date from the 2nd quarter of the 17th century to 1800 and were made using native materials and techniques for a European aesthetic which mimicked Asian lacquer and demonstrate the extraordinary craftsmanship of these anonymous artisans whose techniques are still in use today in Colombia. Using only inexpensive and readily available lenses for a smart phone, this study of a mid 17th century barniz de Pasto gourd in the collection will analyze the decorative elements and hopes to identify their sources to show that artisans regularly substituted local flora and fauna in place of the stylized motifs in Asian lacquer as well as incorporating designs from European sources into these ornate objects. Relying on original sources as well as sample analysis conducted on similar pieces, the study will also identify pigments used to create the lustrous effects.

avatar for Monica Katz

Monica Katz

Conservator, Hispanic Society Museum & Library
MONICA KATZ has been the conservator at the Hispanic Society of America since 2001. She is responsible for the treatments of ceramics, wooden objects (including furniture and South American lacquered objects), ivories, as well as surface treatments on metals, stone, and textiles... Read More →

Thursday May 16, 2019 10:30am - 11:00am EDT
Abenaki Room Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun
  Specialty Session, Wooden Artifacts