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Tesoros at the Philadelphia Museum, first peek

Philadelphia Museum, installation in progress
Altarpiece of the Virgin of Sorrows, c. 1690. Gilt and polychromed wood, oil on canvas, silver, cloth. Mexico. Being assembled in the PMA great stairhall the other day.

When I stopped by the PMA the other day to see the Lines of Thought exhibit in the Asian Arts section (Gallery 227, HIGHLY recommended–I’ll have a review next Wednesday in the Weekly and see my flickr for pix of that show), I spied Curator Joe Rishel giving a preview of the upcoming Latin American art show, Tesoros, to a group of folks that were gathered with him at the stanchions in front of this gilt altarpiece. Rishel curated Tesoros, an international blockbuster that runs Sept 20-Dec. 31 at the PMA, then travels to Mexico to the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City, Winter–Spring 2007, and then to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Summer, 2007.

altar sao bento olinda.jpg
Main Altar, Sao Bento, Olinda, Brazin. Photo courtesy of Peter and Jackie. This is the altar that was brought to the Guggenheim in 2001.

The large altarpiece in the lobby — and I hope they keep it there, it seems perfectly sited — reminded me of another glittering gold knock your eyes out altarpiece in another show of Latin American art up at the Guggenheim in 2001. That altar was sited in the lobby also, as part of the Brazil Body and Soul exhibit, which I saw with my buddy Bay. As we climbed the Guggenheim ramp we watched as the workers installing the big altar piece by piece. It was like a performance, something quite compelling. I did a Google search and found a picture of the Brazilian altar. And thanks to Peter and Jackie for the picture. P&J are London-based travellers who share their photos with the world at their website.

Anyway, I remember enjoying the Brazil show and I’m really looking forward to Tesoros. All that fervor and the weaving together of the spiritual and human… all that blood in those hearts…captivating.