Ximena Gómez Awarded Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowship in Art History
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
The Getty Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) recently announced 10 recipients of the 2021 Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Art. Among the recipients is Ximena A. Gómez, assistant professor in the UMass Amherst department of history of art and architecture.
Intended to support emerging scholars whose research broadens the understanding of art and its history, the Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowship program has recognized outstanding early-career art historians from around the world whose projects stand to make substantial and original contributions to the understanding of various art disciplines and their histories. According to the ACLA website, "The 2021 fellowship cohort was chosen from a pool of more than 180 applicants, the largest number in the program’s history. The awardees were selected through an intensive peer review process that includes two panels of senior international scholars specializing in art historical subjects that span temporal and geographic boundaries." Recipients receive support for an academic year of research and/or writing for a project that will make a substantial and original contribution to the understanding of art and its history.
Gómez was selected for her book project Indigenous and Black Confraternities and the Creation of Visual Culture in Colonial Lima. This book investigates the visual culture of Black and Indigenous confraternities in Lima, Peru during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by embracing the generative possibilities of colonial erasure. With limited extant visual evidence, the project takes advantage of Lima’s rich documentary record for the early colonial period and uses the confraternities of the Virgin of Copacabana and of the Virgin of the Antigua as case studies for how subalterns can be incorporated into the history of Lima’s colonial art. By prioritizing confraternity members’ self-identifications, and taking interdisciplinary and anti-colonial approaches, the book demonstrates that Indigenous and Black people in colonial Lima were active patrons, defined the city’s visual culture through religious and social engagement, and applied their own cultural lenses in their use of sacred images and ritual objects.
Gómez specializes in the art and visual culture of colonial Latin America and that of the early modern transatlantic world. She focuses her research is on the roles black and indigenous people played in artistic and religious expression in colonial Lima. Her work contends with the absence of black and indigenous people in art historical narratives through the use of extensive archival evidence and purposefully centers subaltern epistemologies by considering the visual culture of the Andes and West Africa in analyses of imported European artworks. Her scholarly and teaching interests also include popular images of the Virgin Mary, miracle-working images, and the activation of the pre-invasion and colonial past in Latinx art.
She has received previous support from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, the Fulbright-Hays commission, a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (Advanced Quechua), and the University of Michigan.