Department of the History of Art and Architecture Events

Nov 14
Faculty Colloquium Series | History of Art and Architecture 5:00 p.m.

The Department of the History of Art and Architecture invites you to join us for our 2018-2019 faculty research colloquium series. Assistant Professor Derek Burdette...
November 14 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Lawrence Hall, 241

The Department of the History of Art and Architecture invites you to join us for our 2018-2019 faculty research colloquium series.

Assistant Professor Derek Burdette presents:

“Miraculous Materiality: The Señor de Ixmiquilpan and the Meaning of Cornstalk Crucifixes in Colonial Mexico”

In recent years, both the growing interest in cross-cultural exchange and the material turn in the humanities have led scholars to turn their attention to the objects that mediated European colonization during the early modern period.  Ivory salt-cellars from West Africa, export porcelain from China, and intricate featherwork from New Spain have all been employed as touchstones for understanding imperial politics during the so-called “age of exploration.” These same interests have recently raised the profile of another corpus of imagery from the period: the cristos de caña de maíz, or cornstalk images of Christ, produced in sixteenth-century Mexico.  In this talk I will focus on a single cornstalk statue, a miraculous crucifix known as the Señor de Ixmiquilpan, to explore the significance of its American materiality.  I will contrast modern readings of the sculpture, which frames it as proof of indigenous cultural agency, with colonial sources that describe the artwork as a Spanish import made from European, rather than American, stuff. The statue’s material, I argue, meant very different things to different people.  

Wednesday, November 14

5:00-6:00 p.m. | 241 Lawrence Hall 

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