The Institute of Fine Arts has had for many years a deep engagement with Latin American art of all historical periods. The courses in colonial art taught by Professor Jonathan Brown were ground breaking. The modern and contemporary field has been the purview of Professor Edward Sullivan, teaching courses that cover select areas from the 19th century to the present in, among other places, Mexico, the Caribbean, Brazil and the Southern Cone. To augment the academic aspects of our program the Latin American Forum was created to bring artists, scholars and critics of the arts of the Americas to the Institute, providing a platform for discussions and debates of many issues pertaining to past and current arts and visual cultures throughout the hemisphere. The culmination of the Forum’s yearly activities takes place in late spring with a student-organized international two-day symposium. Each year’s event has a specific theme and papers are accepted in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. This is an integral part of the activities in the field of modern Latin American and Caribbean art and the symposia have served as a springboard for new research on the part of many students from the U.S. and abroad.

The Forum is generously funded and promoted by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), an organization headed by Ariel Aisiks, our enthusiastic patron and friend. The Forum has opened up many areas of research and speculation and has attracted audiences from many of the New York City area universities and colleges, museums and galleries. Collectors, Institute alumnae and many others who access our events via video streaming also constitute the public that we serve. We look forward to a long and productive continuation of the Forum this current academic year and into the future.

In addition to the Forum, the arts of colonial Latin America as well as art in the Iberian Peninsula from ancient times to the present constitute the themes treated by speakers and symposia organized within the framework of the Roberta and Richard Huber Colloquium on the Arts of Colonial Latin America and Spain. Last but not least, it is worth mentioning the efforts that M.A. and Ph.D. students in Latin American art at the Institute, in collaboration with those at other NYC universities, have made to form a working group called “South and About!” This initiative comprises a series of workshops at which individuals are able to present their work and receive commentary and feedback. These meetings center on a wide variety of issues in the arts of Latin America and the Caribbean, and are stimulating for peer discourse in the field.


Photo Credits: Eduardo Kac, GFP Bunny, 2000.