Modern Latin American Art (Jacqueline Barnitz, Art and Art History Department, The University of Texas at Austin)

Artstor and the Art and Art History Department at the University of Texas at Austin have collaborated on a project to digitize and distribute approximately 4,700 teaching slides made by or for Professor Jacqueline Barnitz. Over the course of her career, Barnitz has been a formative influence in shaping the study of Modern Latin American Art, and establishing it as a part of the core art history curriculum. She began teaching a course in Modern Latin American Art at SUNY Stony Brook as early as 1969 and subsequently taught the subject at the University of Pittsburgh. Since her arrival at the University of Texas at Austin in 1981, Barnitz has created the university's graduate program in Modern Latin American art and developed a broad selection of undergraduate and graduate seminars, covering Mexico and ten other Caribbean, Central, and South American countries. Barnitz has published and lectured on many aspects of the field throughout the United States and Latin America. She has organized exhibitions, including including Latin American Artists in New York since 1970(Archer Huntington Art Gallery, 1987), and contributed essays to numerous exhibition catalogs, most recently to Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1993). Her book, Twentieth Century Art of Latin America (Austin: UT Press, 2001) was awarded the Vasari Prize by the Dallas Museum of Art in 2002. In this work, Barnitz offered a comprehensive survey of major 20th century artists and movements in Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America, placing them in their historical, cultural, and political context. Since its publication, Twentieth Century Art of Latin America has become the standard textbook for survey courses in Modern Latin American art history. Currently, Barnitz is working on a comparative study of methods for teaching art history in Latin American institutions and those in the United States, and the attendant differences in understanding the function of art.

The present collaboration is intended to provide teachers, students, and scholars with a core teaching collection in the area of Modern Latin American Art. According to Barnitz: "It will, at long last, help to situate the modern art of Latin America as a field into the mainstream of western art history where it belongs." Through her partnership with Artstor, Barnitz hopes to advance the study and teaching of Modern Latin American art, ensuring that this important subject will be properly represented within the emerging digital canon.