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Art History Lecture: The Heart of the Millennial Kingdom
Start Date: 10/14/2013Start Time: 7:30 PM
End Date: 10/14/2013End Time: 9:00 PM

Event Description
Title: The Heart of the Millennial Kingdom: Understanding Apocalyptic Themes in the Murals Decorating Sixteenth-Century Mexican Convents

Speaker: Read McFaddin (B.A., Art History, Willamette University, 2006; M.A., Art History, University of Oregon, 2009; Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University, History of Art and Architecture)

Both Spain and the Catholic Church understood the Spanish conquest of Mexico in 1521 as an important victory and an opportunity to establish a New Jerusalem of native Christian converts. Spain hoped that, through the evangelizing efforts of mendicant friars, the Americas might counteract Luther’s fledgling Protestant Reformation and bring about the millennial or apocalyptic kingdom on earth. They sought to bring this New Jerusalem to fruition through the creation of highly decorated convents around which native communities congregated under the direction of mendicant friars. Unexpected by both the religious and the imperial administrations in Europe, the Christian conversion of the natives and the construction and decoration of these monasteries proved to be protracted projects. And as the missionaries in the New World had discovered by the early 1560s, Spanish imperial and papal support for the friar-led model of governance in the Americas had almost entirely dissipated. Yet, the murals decorating rural churches and cloisters show no evidence of this shift in the religio-political climate. Apocalyptic and utopian themes proliferated in the friar-commissioned but native-painted monastic decoration in the latter half of the sixteenth century. Do these murals represent nostalgic reflections of a bygone era, or do they perhaps act as agents of a broader mendicant program to reassert the important religious and political role of the friar in an increasingly secularized colonial landscape?
Location Information:
*WU Campus - Hallie Ford Museum of Art  (View Map)
700 State Street
Salem 97301
Phone: 503-370-6855
Room: Roger Hull Lecture Hall
Contact Information:
Name: Prof. Ann M. Nicgorski
Phone: 503-370-6250
Read McFaddin (Willamette University alumnus, Art History, 2006)
Admission / Ticket Info:
Free and Open to the Public
Event Sponsor(s):
The Mark and Janeth Sponenburgh Fund of the Department of Art History, Willamette University

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