Art in Latin American Architecture

By Paul F. Damaz | Go to book overview

Sources of Latin American Culture
House of a Tukano Indian, on the Upper River Papory, Colombia.
The great temple of Tenochtitlan reconstructed by Ignacio Marquina from descriptions by Spanish conquerors and existing Aztec Monuments, Mexico.

Latin American civilization is fundamentally an amalgamation of Indian, European and Negro elements. West European culture is present everywhere and constitutes the strongest single factor of Latin American culture. Indian and Negro influences vary from country to country, according to the local population. Generally speaking, it may be said that Mexico, Central America and Northern and Western South America, sometimes called the mestizo nations, show the strongest Indian influence. Most of the population has mixed Spanish-Indian blood and a large proportion of the people still speak Indian languages. The inhabitants of Brazil and of the Caribbean countries are a blending of white and Negro races. Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Costa Rica are practically one hundred per cent white, while French-speaking Haiti is almost one hundred per cent Negro.

Three countries, Mexico, Peru and Colombia, have inherited an old strong Indian civilization. In Mexico the conquistadores found an organized society with its own laws and traditions, a developed commerce and industry, a strong religion, and an unsuspected art and architecture of great beauty. Although they tried to impose their civilization on the Indians by destroying everything they found in their way, the Indian soul lived on among a large part of the Mexican population. The Mexican revolution, which began in 1910 and continued for about a decade, was basically an Indian revolution against foreign influences. Since then the Mexicans have become so conscious of their pre- Columbian past that their Indian heritage is now the most vital element in Mexican culture.

An even more highly developed civilization was found by the Spaniards in Peru and the neighboring

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Art in Latin American Architecture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Picture Credits 6
  • Acknowledgments 7
  • Color Illustrations 8
  • Contents 9
  • Author's Note 11
  • Preface 13
  • Foreword 14
  • Part 1 19
  • Sources of Latin American Culture 23
  • The Pre-Columbian Heritage 27
  • Colonial Art and Architecture 35
  • Modern Architecture 42
  • Contemporary Art in Latin America 52
  • Art in Modern Architecture 68
  • Part 2 107
  • Schools 129
  • Theaters, Restaurants, Clubs and Commercial Buildings 155
  • Hospitals and Religious Buildings 168
  • Hotels, Apartment Buildings and Private Houses 183
  • Monuments and Memorials 197
  • Landscape Architecture 208
  • Experimental Architecture 222
  • Bibliography 230
  • Index 231
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