The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
The historian and writer Pilar Moreno de Ángel describes an unprecedented confluence of photography, art, and the press that coalesced in late nineteenth century Colombia in one of the most unique and interesting publications ever produced in the visual history of the country: Papel Periódico Ilustrado [Illustrated Periodical Paper]. Moreno de Ángel profiles the three men who were responsible for this important cultural phenomenon, Alberto Urdaneta, Demetrio Paredes, and Julio Racines Bernal, who as good examples of the “modern man” were involved in science and art, had good academic backgrounds, had lived abroad, were well-connected to the print media, and had even been active in local political and cultural circles. Urdaneta, the director and manager of the Papel Periódico Ilustrado, created a community of people who were involved in art and politics such as had never been seen in the history of Colombian art. This group in turn had a decisive influence on the development of local artistic genres, such as printmaking, woodcut, caricature, and photography, all of which became established in short order during the twentieth century.
The Revista Credencial Historia [History Document Magazine], which published the article “El 'Papel Periódico Ilustrado' y sus creadores. Urdaneta, Paredes, Racines y la fotografía” [The ‘Illustrated Periodical Paper’ and its creators. Urdaneta, Paredes, Racines, and photography], is a cultural and educational publication—launched in 1990 as a supplement to the Revista Credencial—that has made significant contributions to various academic fields in Colombia. This magazine was designed to spark public interest in a variety of social and historical phenomena through the publication of simple, well-researched articles written by important Colombian historians.
Pilar Moreno de Ángel (1926–2006), who was the director of the Biblioteca Nacional [National Library] and the Archivo Nacional [National Archives] of Colombia, was one of the most important researchers in the country. Her interest in the social history of the national culture led her to study the connections between art and politics in order to research people such as Alberto Urdaneta (1845–1987)—the director of the Escuela de Bellas Artes [School of Fine Arts] in Bogotá and organizer of the most influential art exhibition in Colombia in the nineteenth century—about whom she wrote a detailed biography. In her article, Moreno de Ángel describes the economic, social, and aesthetic role played by Urdaneta in the establishment of new photographic canons. She draws on correspondence between Urdaneta and Demetrio Paredes (1830–1898) to underscore the former’s influence on the latter’s noted photographic work that was produced in a social and economic environment that spawned myriad challenges for the arts. Moreno also describes how Urdaneta and the photographer Julio Racines (1848–1913) worked together to establish a photographic production company.
The article by Pilar Moreno de Ángel was published with two other complementary documents that addressed the subject of photography in Colombia in the nineteenth century: “Pioneros de la fotografía en Antioquia” [Pioneers of Photography in Antioquia] by Santiago Londoño Vélez (1955) and “Fotografía y política” [Photography and Politics] by Malcolm Deas (1941). Given the dearth of critical insight on the visual history of nineteenth century Colombia, these articles are a true revelation for researchers.