Curated Conversations: The New World Order of Casta Paintings

2022thu15sep12:00 pmCurated Conversations: The New World Order of Casta PaintingsA free online event, part of our Curated Conversation series.

Event Details

Thursday, September 15, 12pm CT (1pm ET / 11am PT) | Via Zoom

Colonial Latin America was a mosaic of races and cultures that intermingled, and very often married. As a result of this new diverse population, a popular art genre emerged in the 18th century: Casta paintings. 

Casta paintings depict several scenes of mixed-race couples with their children. In each, artists labeled family members with an invented racial category, or “caste.” The Spanish crown and elites tried to create order in New Spain (now Mexico) with these idealized paintings. The reality, in which divisions of race and class were fluid, was much more complicated. 

Learn more about this Mexican art genre with curator of Painted Cloth, Rosario I. Granados, and historian Susan Deans-Smith.  


A headshot of a woman smiling, behind her is a painting from colonial Spanish America..

Rosario I.  Granados is the Marilynn Thoma Associate Curator, Art of the Spanish Americas at the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a historian of religious material culture and interested in collecting practices. Her exhibition Painted Cloth: Ritual and Fashion in Colonial Latin America is on view at the Blanton through January 8, 2023. 

A woman with short white hair smiles while crossing her arms.

Susan Deans-Smith is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research and teaching interests focuses on the history of colonial Latin America, including the histories of artisans, artists, art markets, and collecting. Her most recent book Museum Matters: Making and Unmaking Mexico’s National Collections (University of Arizona Press, 2021), was co-edited with Miruna Achim and Sandra Rozental. 

Feature Image Credit:  José Joaquín Magón, De Español, y Castiza, torna á Español., Puebla, Mexico, circa 1770, oil on canvas, 35 13/16 × 45 1/4 in., Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid (Photo: Javier Rodríguez Barrera)


September 15, 2022 12:00 pm(GMT-05:00)

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1 thought on “Curated Conversations: The New World Order of Casta Paintings”

  1. Thanks.
    I attended UT in the early 60’s. My appreciation to r UT and to the Great State if Texas.

    I was there as a foreign student and I received excellent schooling and wonderful friendship. May God bless Texas and all Texans.
    Best regards


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