History of Art and Visual Culture


History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


During colonization in the 16th century both the Spanish and indigenous population underwent a dramatic cultural change. Puebla, Mexico is a unique city to discover the layers of identity because a different approach the Spanish decided to pursue to build its society. As Mexico’s first industrialized city, it is also the first Mexican city that was not built upon existing indigenous civilization. Because of this difference in cultural assimilation, Poblanos consisted of indigenous people and Spanish encomenderos who were organized together at concurrent times. Through cathedral architecture and Talavera pottery, an ambiguous sense of this identity is created. Cathedral architecture offers a window into how the church used shared symbols of the sun and moon between Christianity and Aztec beliefs to peacefully assimilate the two cultures. This may have proven not to be the most effective method of converting the indigenous population but nevertheless offers the modern reader one of the methods used in merging the two cultures. Talavera pottery in Puebla becomes a staple of the city’s art craft which holds its roots in both indigenous and Spanish production. What is underneath the Spanish decorative style is ancient pottery techniques that convey the message of two cultures fused together to create a distinct, Poblano identity. Visually, the styles are characteristic of Spanish Baroque, with an underlying subtle tribute to Mesoamerica’s ancient past. This research takes a look into the possibilities of these two art forms presenting a communication bridge between two very different worlds with some shared roots.

Abstract Format




Faculty Mentor

Dr. Janice Neri