Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Document Project’s Website Reaches Sixth Anniversary

Jan 12

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1/12/2018 11:14 AM  RssIcon

The Documents Project website launched on January 20, 2012 after ten years of quiet, behind-the-scenes work at the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA). Back then, 2,500 documents from Argentina, Mexico, and the American Midwest (University of Notre Dame) were available for research on our site. The uploading of documents from our teams in the United States, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, and Uruguay followed over the years.

These materials have been complemented by the central administration team in Houston, in its dimension as a research team. We have recently added a significant cache of texts that appeared in Perceptismo: Teórico y polémico, and other rare Argentinean periodicals. And, we also expanded our online selection of archival documents from The Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This and other research has been conducted by Beatriz Olivetti (Research and Digital Experience Specialist), Nora A. Nava-Heymann (Copyright Coordinator), María B. McGreger (Image and Web Content Specialist), as well as technical assistants Yvonne B. Zepeda and José Ángel Carrazco.  And, we have been assisted in this endeavor by an increasing number of graduate and undergraduate students who are benefitting from a developing institutional collaboration with the University of Houston focusing on Latin American and Latino art. Every one of the 8,400 (and counting) primary texts that are now available on our site reflect a fundamental spirit of camaraderie and a commitment to a team-based approach that, together, continue to define the core values of the ICAA’s Documents Project. 

At the same time, reaching out to a broader network continued to be among our primary objectives in 2017. Via a partnership between Google Arts & Culture and the MFAH, we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with Latino Experience in the USA: Works from the MFAH Collection, an online exhibition hosted by the museum’s page at Google Arts and Culture. The exhibition features the work of six important Latino and Latin American artists whose works are part of the MFAH collections: José Gabriel Fernández, Lorenzo Homar, César Augusto Martínez, Daniel Joseph Martínez, Gabriel Orozco, and Marcos Raya. We have also started to build direct links between documents accessible in our digital archive to  artworks featured on the MFAH Online Collection, including the objects the make up The Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Since our launch, the Documents Project’s digital archive has had more than 500,000 visits from over 375,000 unique visitors, averaging around 7,300 visits per month from both new and returning users. As of December 2017, the site boasted 25,959 registered users who actively access materials, create and share their own personal collections of documents culled from the site. Needless to say, we continue to be encouraged by the support from colleagues and users worldwide who rely on our digital archive for trusted access to the intellectual production of the 20th-century’s Latin American and Latino artistic sphere. 

María C. Gaztambide, Ph. D., Associate Director, ICAA

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