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Historian to talk about art of the Americas

USF students this week will have the chance to get a new perspective on art and the Italian Renaissance.

Growing research in art suggests consumerism, mass marketing and economic conditioning could taint the way people view works of art.

Helena Szepe, associate professor for art history at USF, said Claire Farago is at the forefront of offering new critical perspectives on art and art history.

Farago, a widely published art historian specializing in Renaissance art and theory, will give a lecture today on the new perspectives of colonialism and the art of New Mexico. Her lecture will be held in the Marshall Center Ballroom at 7 p.m.

“This research re-evaluates art, such as that of 19th century New Mexico, from a perspective that does not privilege European art historical categories and standards,” Szepe said.

In a recent article, “The Visual Culture of American Religions,” Farago discusses the idea of consumer desire as one piece to this complex research.

According to the article, in New Mexico in the early 19th century, bright, fashionable and technically crafted lithographs appealed to social climbers. An eager market and affordable pricing led mass-produced art to replace the work of local artists. This shift reframed what was valued in the culture into more homogeneous terms associated with the European culture.

Szepe said that the lecture is intended for a general audience of students and non-students interested in art, art history and the art of the Americas.

Farago’s lecture is a joint presentation by the USF Art Department, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Department and the University Lecture Series.