6Hispanic/LatinX Art in the U.S.

Past and Present

Ilenia Colón Mendoza, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Art History, University of Central Florida

The cultures inherited by Latinos predate the formation of the United States. From the Olmecs to the Aztecs in Central America, the Taino in the Caribbean, and the Chavín and Inca in South America, these ancient civilizations serve as a foundation for the formation of a modern-day Latino community. These populations had sophisticated calendar systems, monumental architec ture, and structured civilizations. Their important historical contributions are often overlooked when we study Western Art. Many Latino artists use the iconography of formative cultures in their work. Two major historical events heightened ...

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