Wooden Saints: The Santos of New Mexico
In the Spanish-speaking world, the word santo normally means "saint" or "holy." By extension, it may also refer to material representations of the saints. In the United States this usage commonly refers specifically to a body of painting and sculpture produced between the middle of the 18th century and the beginning of the 20th by Americans of Spanish descent living in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. This remarkable folk art came into being when the area was a remote outpost of Spain, and colonists were faced with a chronic shortage of essential imports over the long caravan route from Mexico. It persisted well into the American territorial period, succumbing finally to mass-produced substitutes. It has been called the most important manifestation of folk art in this country, and is in fact the only non-Indian religious art native to it. Santos have been appreciated and collected by Anglo-Americans for half a century; but information available to the general public is scanty and often misleading. The aim of this guide is to present a brief historical sketch of the cultural background, followed by some discussion of the art itself.--From p. 3-4.
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19th century altar screen altarpiece American occupation appears Arroyo Hondo artist Arts Center carved by Jose Christ Crucified Church coated with gesso Colorado Springs commercial enamels Cordova crucifix Crucifixion decorative derived Duran Chapel early example family chapel fiesta Flagellation Height of figure Holy Trinity images Immaculate Conception Indians Jose Aragon Jose Dolores Lopez Jose Rafael Aragon Juan Ramon Lady of Guadalupe Lady of Talpa Laguna Pueblo Laguna style large Cristo Late 19th later Mexican religious art milled lumber Mora native number of santos occupation in 1846 old bultos Padre painting and sculpture Passion Penitente moradas Peyrero Philip Neri plate 12 priests Pueblo Revolt Ranchos de Taos Renaissance reredos retablos San Ramon Nonato Santa Cruz Santa Fe Trail santero art Santo Entierro Señora shown sometimes Spain Spanish Spanish-American Springs Fine Arts Talpa plate Taylor Museum thern New Mexico tion traditional tree-ring dated typically Vargas village Virgin wig of human