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Spotlight on Acquisitions: Latin American Books in Watson Library

vitrine display

Vitrine display in Thomas J. Watson Library

As The Met has increased its commitment to Latin American art, Watson Library has increased our coverage of this rich art-historical region. In addition to hundreds of books published in the United States and in Europe, last year Watson Library added 914 titles published in Central and South America, and the Caribbean, covering art from the Precolombian era to today. These exhibition catalogues, monographs, and reference works join Watson's strong collection of documentation on the art of ancient and modern cultures and will support future scholarly research at the Museum. This fall, a sample of these publications will be on view in the vitrines in Watson Library, alongside highlights from the library's antiquarian Latin American materials.


Miguel Fernández Félix, ed., El Color de los Dioses: Policromía en la Antigüedad Clásica y Mesoamérica (Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 2016).

Last year Watson Library added titles published in 17 Latin American countries. The majority of these titles came from Brazil. Two years ago Watson Library received a transformational gift of 3,000 books from the Casa Daros library in Brazil, giving Watson the finest collection on modern and contemporary Brazilian art in North America. Today the entire Casa Daros collection is processed and accessible to researchers.

Marina de Caro

Marina de Caro, Contra la Gravedad (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, 2015).

Close behind Brazil for most titles acquired last year is Argentina, with 103. Watson also acquired 68 titles from Mexico and 45 from Colombia. Watson staff also work closely with booksellers from countries with smaller art-publishing industries to ensure we have coverage of the entire region. This year we were pleased to add titles from Paraguay, Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and many others.

Suite Iberia

Hannia Gómez, Suite Iberia: Arquitectura de Influencia Española en Caracas (Caracas, Venezuela: Sala TAC, Trasnocho Arte Contacto, 2015).

Gabriela Rangel recently donated 135 monographs, exhibition catalogues, and periodicals on contemporary art from her personal library on Latin American art and coordinated the donation of 38 publications from the Americas Society.


José Luis Falconi and Gabriela Rangel, ed., A Principality of Its Own: 40 Years of Visual Arts at the Americas Society, (New York: Americas Society; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Distributed by Harvard University Press, 2006).

The library also recently received The Art of Painting in Colonial Bolivia (2017), a gift from Roberta and Richard Huber, longtime Friends of the Library. This book, published by Saint Joseph's University Press, is a truly impressive comprehensive study of an important period in Bolivian art history.

Colonial Bolivia

Suzanne L. Stratton-Pruitt, ed., The Art of Painting in Colonial Bolivia (Philadelphia: Saint Joseph's University Press, 2017).

The library is also grateful for the many gifts of catalogues from contemporary galleries in Latin America, including the Patricia Ready Galería (Santiago, Chile), Galeria Estação (São Paulo, Brazil), Simões de Assis Gallery (Bogota, Colombia), Galería Vasari (Buenos Aires, Argentina), and Galería de Arte Ascaso (Caracas, Venezuela).


El Arte de las Naciones: el Barroco como Arte Global (Puebla, Mexico: Museo Internacional del Barroco, 2016).

Watson Library strives for comprehensive coverage in our acquisitions, and the growing activity in art and art publications from Latin America has added depth and distinction to an already strong collection. We are pleased to showcase some of these important works in the vitrines this fall, and are grateful to the Friends of the Library, other donors, and the Contemporary Catalog Team for helping us to acquire Latin American materials.

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