Highest Heaven: Spanish and Portuguese Colonial Art from the Roberta and Richard Huber Collection
March 11 - July 9, 2017
Highest Heaven: Spanish and Portuguese Colonial Art from the Huber Collection is funded in part by the Michie Family Curatorial Fund and the John and Ruth Adam, Jr. Exhibition Fund; through sponsorship from Rand Whitney Container; media partnership with The Boston Globe and WGBH; and community partnership with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester.
Highest Heaven explores the cultural and religious world of the Spanish Colonial possessions of the Altiplano (high plains) of South America. Through approximately 100 paintings, sculptures, ivories, objects in silver, and furniture, the exhibition traces the development and spread of the Catholic faith through the creation and usage of religious art for devotion and instruction.
The objects are drawn from the distinguished collection of Roberta and Richard Huber of New York City. Over three decades the Hubers have built one of the most significant assemblages of this material in private hands.
Rather than group works by media as an introduction to the world of Spanish Colonial art, the exhibition returns the objects' original context as, literally and symbolically, articles of faith. It focuses on the didactic aspects of the collection, especially as they relate to the life of Christ, the Christian religious orders, and the cult of the saints. It explores ways in which such religious art was used in the propagation of Catholic beliefs by use of visual art to illustrate biblical moments in the life of Christ—from the Annunciation and birth to the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Furthermore, it examines visual representations of saints, exemplar proponents of the Christian life. Finally, Highest Heaven will focus on religious orders that provided organizational and philosophical underpinnings for the propagation of the faith.
The exhibition is organized and circulated by the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Above: Christ Descending into Hell, Peruvian, 18th century, Oil on canvas, Roberta and Richard Huber Collection, Photograph by Robert Schwarz
Master Series Third Thursday
Speaker: Thomas B.F. Cummins, Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art, Harvard University