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Latino Daily News

Saturday March 10, 2012

1,000 Mexican Artworks Digitally Documented in Germany, Austria

1,000 Mexican Artworks Digitally Documented in Germany, Austria

Photo: Frida Kahlo

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More than 1,000 Mexican artworks, some dating from pre-Columbian times and which were sent to Germany and Austria over the last four centuries, have been documented for the first time in a digital catalogue.

The compilation includes the Dresden Mayan Codex, acquired in the 17th century in Vienna, as well as various objects of feather-art, among them a purported plumed headdress of Moctezuma that “has absolutely no connection with the Aztec emperor,” researcher Miguel Gleason, who created the catalogue, told Efe.

The treasure of documented pieces extends from before the arrival of the Spanish up to the 19th century, and also includes works of modern and contemporary art, such as 116 copies of works by Frida Kahlo.

No place in the world has 126 works by Kahlo, which means these are replicas made in China that a German enthusiast acquired to open a museum in Baden-Baden where Frida Kahlo’s father was born, Gleason said.

“Obviously they’re all replicas, but of course seeing the oil paintings there is much better than not seeing anything at all or settling for seeing them in books,” he said.

The digital catalogue also includes a series of videos with interviews of specialists and people interested in the presence of Mexico in Austria and Germany.

Gleason, with the support of cultural authorities in Mexico, has carried out since 2003 an exhaustive search for Mexican artworks in Europe, and to date has found them in France, Britain, Italy, the Vatican, Germany and Austria.

In September of this year he will present a digital inventory called Mexico-Europe, which will comprise a total of 9,000 Mexican objects found by Gleason in the course of his 12 years of research.