Enduring Images of Northern New Mexican Village Churches
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: University Press of Colorado
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Since the colonization of New Mexico, periodic surveys have been made of the contents of the region’s churches. One of the early surveys was that by Bishop Tamaron in 1760. To update information about the existence and...
Chapter One. The Colonization of New Mexico
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After Columbus’s discovery of the New World, many Spaniards migrated and settled in the Caribbean Islands. Their hope of conquering the mainland of North America, and of gaining its fabled vast riches, led them to travel west with their armies. In 1519, Hernán Cortés sailed from Cuba and landed on the...
Chapter Two. The Art of the Santero
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It is not known in which particular area of northern New Mexico the art of the santero began. Although the seventeenth-century churches destroyed during the 1680 Pueblo Revolt may have contained the earliest examples of these wooden, carved and painted images, it is assumed that the images too were destroyed....
Chapter Three. The Early Santero and His Role in the Churches
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Fray Andres Garcia, a Franciscan friar who served at a number of New Mexican churches in the late eighteenth century, was born in 1720 at Puebla de los Angeles in Mexico. Because of entries in the Dominguez report of 1776,1 Garcia has been credited with producing several santos that are still in the churches where he served. In addition...
Chapter Four. The Classic Golden Age of the Santero
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Although as many as ten santeros provided carved and painted images for the various churches beginning in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, most of the santos that remain in the churches today were executed by only two santeros: Molleno (because of the number of large altar screens) and Jose Rafael Aragon. Aragon’s...
Chapter Five. The Late Period of the Santero
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Jose de Gracia Gonzales, a santero born in Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1832, migrated to the United States in 1860.1 Little was known about Gonzales until recently, when Mark Gardner conducted an extensive search based on information in an unpublished paper written by W. S. Stallings in 1948. In 1989...
Chapter Six. Paintings on Hide, Canvas, and Paper
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Although early eighteenth-century paintings on tanned hide are discussed at length in Boyd’s Popular Arts of Spanish New Mexico, later renderings on gessoed hides by known santeros are of interest in the context of this book. Several santeros painted images on buffalo and other hides, but, unlike the eighteenth-century hide paintings, these hides were prepared much like the retablos, with a thick coating of gesso. This...
Chapter Seven. Santos in Churches and Collections Today
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Although many hundreds of retablos and bultos were listed on the various church inventories before the end of the eighteenth century, and well into the first quarter of the nineteenth century, fewer than one-third of them remain today. At Chimayó, for instance, in addition to the altar screens, the 1818 and 1826 inventories listed thirty-eight bultos “without counting the small ones.” Today, Chimayó...
Appendix A. Art Restoration at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz
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This appendix details the restoration process undertaken on santero art at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In most of the churches containing this type of art, much deterioration has occurred due to leaking roofs, handling of objects, and sometimes the desire of priests and parishioners for everything to look...
Appendix B. Native Materials and Methods Used by the Santero
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To determine the nature of the materials used by the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century santeros in northern New Mexico, first we must discuss those pigments historically most readily available to Native American artisans, whose works had an obvious influence on the santeros. At Awatovi, Franciscan...
Appendix C. The 1776 Dominguez Survey and the 1987 Santos Survey
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The report prepared by Fray Francisco Atanasio Dominguez in 1776 was translated and published by Eleanor B. Adams and Fray Angelico Chavez in 1956.1 Dominguez’s contribution to the history of New Mexico’s churches during the period of the eighteenth century has served as a vital source to historians....
Appendix D. The Confraternities in New Mexico Before and During the Santero Period
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This appendix is included primarily to provide background material on the various relationships that existed, at the time of the santero period, between the santeros and the confraternities (cofradias.1 This relationship may account for the large number of images of patron saints carved and painted by the santeros. In addition, we discuss the variety of religious...
Appendix E. List of Images in the 1987 Santos Survey
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Page Count: 306
Publication Year: 2003