The Revival of Spanish Colonial Arts, 1924–1936

Charles Montgomery

in The Spanish Redemption

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520229716
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927377 | DOI:
The Revival of Spanish Colonial Arts, 1924–1936

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This chapter investigates how manual arts were seen, rather quixotically, as a means of both preserving the folk from modern America and integrating them into a regional economy. The cachet of “Spanish colonial arts” attracted writers, philanthropists, and tourists in numbers that “Mexican crafts” could not have matched. If the Fiesta presented los paisanos as a premodern folk culture, the arts revival demonstrated why that culture had to remain marginal to modern New Mexico. Frank Applegate's notion of Spanish colonial arts was premised on a highly selective and stylized story of efflorescence and decline. The Spanish arts revival was peculiar to northern New Mexico. As Santa Fe reveled in its Fiesta and art enthusiasts paid tribute to melancholy santos, poets and novelists were hard at work recasting the “Mexican” of long-standing literary repute into the salvation of a standardized America.

Keywords: Spanish colonial arts; regional economy; Mexican crafts; Fiesta; Spanish arts revival; New Mexico; Frank Applegate

Chapter.  13528 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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