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A Century of Retablos: The Janis and Dennis Lyon Collection of New Mexican Santos, 1780–1880

October 24 through January 17, 2010

A rich tradition of religious painting flourished in the Southwest in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In this era of Spanish Colonial rule, painters and their workshops created wooden panels embellished with images from the lives of the saints and other holy figures. These panels, known as retablos, were visual narratives created for churches and homes as aides to veneration of the Saints. This exhibition features ninety-three Spanish colonial wooden retablos of New Mexico drawn from one of the most complete collections of this work in the United States. The artists, or santeros, were self-taught, and these images continue to influence the contemporary production of folk art in the Southwest.

Organized by the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona.


A Century of Retablos: The Dennis & Janis Lyon Collection of New Mexican Santos, 1780-1880

Publication Date: 2007
240 pages
$60 plus tax
This hardcover catalogue is the premier publication of an exceptional and rare collection and fully represents the breadth of retablos painting. Introductory essays describing the art and religious values, as well as religious dimensions of specific artists’ intent and stylistic development, are captured. Individual descriptive entries examining the iconography and social history of each painting complete the presentation which will be of great use to the ongoing study of southwestern art, history, and collecting. Foreword by James K. Ballinger, The Sybil Harrington Director of the Phoenix Art Museum and collectors Statement by Janis and Dennis Lyon.



Photography of installation at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts