Santos: The Religious Folk Art of New Mexico

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Author: Wilder, Mitchell A (1913-1979) from the library of Professor George M Foster

Year: 1943

Publisher: The Taylor Musuem

Place: Colorado Springs


49 pages with 64 plates and bibliography. Quarto (11 1/2" x 8 1/2") issued in red cloth with gilt lettering to spine and pictorial cover in black and white Text and photographs by Mitchell A Wilder and Edgar Breitenbach. Foreword by Rudolph A Gerken. . From the library of George M Foster. First edition.

Santo (from the Spanish word meaning "saint") is a traditional New Mexican genre of religious sculpture. The word "santo" is also used to refer to individual works in this genre. Santos are carvings, either in wood or ivory, that depict saints, angels, or other religious figures.Icons and other religious images were crucial for the conversion of indigenous peoples to Roman Catholicism, which was itself an integral part of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. However, long distances, inefficient methods of transportation, and high demand for such artworks limited the ability of ecclesiastical authorities to supply parish churches, especially those in remote outposts, with "official" works of religious art from Spain.The first santos are thought to have been imitations of Spanish Baroque statues carved by priests. Later santos were influenced by native styles. They became popular items of devotion, found from home altars to churches, whence they sometimes attracted pilgrims.Originally common throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the tradition of santo carving was preserved as a folk art in Northern New Mexico, whose isolated villages remain secluded to this day. Of particular note is the village of Cordova which has produced several well known Santos woodcarvers, including George Lopez who was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1982.Later imitations of colonial-era carvings are sometimes called "Santo artform".

George McClelland Foster, Jr born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on October 9, 1913, died on May 18, 2006, at his home in the hills above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as a professor from 1953 to his retirement in 1979, when he became professor emeritus. His contributions to anthropological theory and practice still challenge us; in more than 300 publications, his writings encompass a wide diversity of topics, including acculturation, long-term fieldwork, peasant economies, pottery making, public health, social structure, symbolic systems, technological change, theories of illness and wellness, humoral medicine in Latin America, and worldview. The quantity, quality, and long-term value of his scholarly work led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976. Virtually all of his major publications have been reprinted and/or translated. Provenance from the executor of Foster's library laid in.


Foster's stamp on title and front paste down acquiry date (10/20/46), spine sunned, points rubbed else a very good copy.

SOLD 2018

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