Cover image for Encyclopedia of Latin American & Caribbean art
Encyclopedia of Latin American & Caribbean art
Turner, Jane Shoaf.
Publication Information:
New York : Grove's Dictionaries, [2000]

Physical Description:
xx, 782 pages, xl pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 26 cm.
General Note:
Simultaneously published by Macmillan Reference, London.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6502 .E53 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

On Order



The nearly 1,400 articles in this volume cover all the major artistic developments in Central and South America and the Caribbean from the colonial period to the present. From 16th-century Spanish colonial architects such as Fray Andres San Miguel to European explorers such as Alexander vonHumboldt to contemporary artists such as Debora Arango, the entries chart the adaptations of European artistic traditions and the evolution of individual national cultures.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The epic Dictionary of Art [RBB D 15 96] has spawned several new series of art encyclopedias. Encyclopedia of American Art before 1914 and Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean Art are the first titles in the Grove Encyclopedias of the Arts in America series. Five other series are planned and will focus on ancient, Asian, African, Australasian, and European art. The aim is to offer smaller, more accessible (and affordable) one-to three-volume encyclopedias, using an arrangement similar to that of the larger set. The original authors of articles in Dictionary of Art were contacted for these works, and many revised and updated their contributions. Bibliographies have also been updated, and numerous black-and-white and color illustrations have been added. The 835 entries in American Art before 1914 cover photographers, painters, architects, sculptors, collectors, engravers, furniture makers, and more. There are articles on major cities (e.g., Chicago, New York, and San Francisco) and their art and architecture and major art movements and styles (e.g., Arts and Crafts Movement, Greek revival, Hudson River school). One criticism of the earlier set was an apparent neglect of West Coast artists, and that has been remedied in this work. Even more useful is Latin American and Caribbean Art, because it explores less-familiar ground. There are 1,296 entries covering individuals (with 25 new biographies of contemporary artists), cities, forms, and movements and schools in Central and South American and the Caribbean, from the European conquest to the present day. Lengthy survey articles examine the artistic development of each nation. There is also an entry on Latin American artists of the USA, which discusses the contributions of U.S. artists of Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Cuban heritage. In both volumes, the signed entries are arranged alphabetically with main headings in bold type. Cross-references guide the reader to other related entries, and each article includes a brief bibliography and often listings of unpublished sources. Crisp black-and-white illustrations punctuate the double columns of text, and the center of the book features 40 pages of sharp color illustrations. Biographical entries provide complete birth and death dates (and often places), always a welcome feature in a reference work. An appendix lists the locations of each of the works of art reproduced. Another appendix lists the full titles of periodicals referred to in abbreviated form in the bibliographies. For collections in need of a solid, well-researched sourcebook on American art before the modern period, or on the art of Latin America and the Caribbean, these works fit the bill, particularly for those libraries unable to afford the "mother" set.

Choice Review

According to its preface, "this alphabetically arranged encyclopedia covers the arts and culture of every country in the Western Hemisphere except Canada and the United States from the European Conquest to the present day, with introductory articles on the arts of indigenous peoples where appropriate." It defines art broadly, encompassing painting, sculpture, graphic arts, architecture, the decorative arts, and more. Its 1,200 signed entries by more than 200 contributors from many countries vary in length from partial columns to long articles. They include surveys of art in each country and in many cities; biographies of artists; artistic schools and movements; events; styles; and articles on general topics, such as women artists and Latin American artists in the US; each entry ends with a brief bibliography. Almost 500 color and black-and-white illustrations enhance the value of this work, as does the detailed index. A spin-off of Dictionary of Art, ed. by Turner (CH, Jan'97), it has been updated, and entries focusing on contemporary artists have been added along with additional illustrations. The only compact reference on this subject in English, its extensive coverage and the high quality of its content make it essential for libraries supporting art, architecture, indigenous peoples, and Latin America in general. It can serve more general reference clientele, from travelers needing information about museums in Buenos Aires to patrons of the arts interested in important private art collections in Brazil. A. Hartness; University of Texas at Austin