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Images Take Flight. Feather Art in Mexico and Europe

Abstract

The first systematic study of feather mosaics from New Spain in the context of a broader creative exchange between Mesoamerican and European aesthetics and materials. Edited by Alessandra Russo, Gerhard Wolf and Diana Fane. With contributions by Luisa Elena Alcalá, Berenice Alcántara, Frances Berdan, Amy Buono, Kathryn Myatt Carey, Jaime Cuadriello, Tom Cummins, Elena Isabel Estrada de Gerlero, Diana Fane, Christian Feest, Laura Filloy, Corinna Tania Gallori, Serge Gruzinski, Philine Helas, Annette Hoffmann, Laura Laurencich Minelli, Mimi Leveque, Leonardo López Luján, Diana Magaloni, Ricardo Martínez Hernández, Pascal Mongne, Lourdes Navarijo, Giuseppe Olmi, Ellen Pearlstein, Renée Reidler, Paula Richter, Catalina Rodríguez, Alessandra Russo, Jean-Claude Schmitt, Dúrdica Ségota, Michael Thimann, Gary Tomlinson, and Gerhard Wolf.

Russo, Alessandra, Gerhard Wolf, and Diana Fane. Images Take Flight. Feather Art in Mexico and Europe (1400-1700). München: Hirmer Verlag GmbH, 2015, Print.

This catalog presents the first systematic study of feather mosaics from New Spain in the context of a broader creative exchange between Mesoamerican and European aesthetics and materials. Thirty-three scholars look at these unprecedented artworks that circulated in the sixteenth and seventeeth centuries from a range of vantage points, including art history, anthropology, collecting, natural history, archeology, and conservation. Published to complement a major international exhibition held at the National Museum of Art (MUNAL) in Mexico City in 2011, the book is organized thematically and includes over three hundred color photographs of feather mosaics with astonishing detail, as well as relevant paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, books, European illuminated manuscripts, Mesoamerican codices, and studies of natural history.

No book has ever brought together so many images of artworks from this tradition, let alone assembled a team of scholars to offer such trenchant analysis. It will be essential for art historians, scholars of colonialism, and historians of the Spanish Empire alike.

The book has been reviewed by Claudia Swan for The Times Literary Supplement (2016); by Anna Blume in CAA.reviews (2017)

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