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.
Art historian Jacinto Quirarte lays a framework for discussing an artwork or body of work by examining the tradition to which it belongs and the reasons for which (and for whom) it was created. Summarizing the conclusions of the 1979 Symposium on the Hispanic American Aesthetic: Origins, Manifestations, and Significance, of which he was the symposium chair, Quirarte explains that the diverse ethnic and national groups—that fall under the blanket term “Hispanic American”—are connected by a common thread of European colonization. The second nexus between Hispanic artists, he believes, is the common desire to create meaningful productive art for their communities.
Jacinto Quirarte is one of the foremost Chicano art historians and one of the earliest to write about Chicano art history, such as in the groundbreaking book Mexican Americans Artists published in 1973. The first of its kind, Mexican Americans Artists prompted a traveling exhibition featuring artwork by the artists in the book and generated extensive media coverage that helped form a national network of Chicano artists. This essay is Quirarte’s synopsis of a national symposium that he helped organize and for which he served as the symposium chair. Held in San Antonio in 1979 and supported with funds from the U.S. federal funding agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, the symposium brought together Latino representatives from different branches of the arts (literature, visual arts, dance, and theatre) to present discipline-related papers and to discuss their artistic and cultural differences and similarities. This symposium was the first time that Chicano, Puerto Rican, Nuyorican, and Cuban-American artists and arts administrators came together under a formal symposium format. Quirarte’s conclusions provide an important historical record of the meeting and the papers presented, as well as a brief description of the state of Latino arts at the beginning of the 1980s.