ALAA Triennial Conference

Diego Rivera, Unión de la Expresión Artistica del Norte y Sur de este Continente” (The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent), 1940, City College of San Francisco

Diego Rivera, Unión de la Expresión Artistica del Norte y Sur de este Continente” (The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent), 1940, City College of San Francisco

Association for Latin American Art
Fourth Triennial Conference

“Art at Large: Public and Monumental Arts in the Americas”
March 18–20, 2016

de Young Museum
Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118

Final Conference Program

The Association for Latin American Art is pleased to present its Fourth Triennial Conference on the theme of “Art at Large: Public and Monumental Arts in the Americas,” hosted by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in collaboration with the Department of History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley and the Museum Studies Program at San Francisco State University.

Conference papers will address Latin American art across a broad span of time, conventionally organized as: ancient/Pre-Columbian, colonial/viceregal; modern and contemporary. Additionally, the conference in San Francisco includes a panel of papers that address the arts and architecture of California and the Bay Area as they relate to Latin American, Latina/o, and/or Chicana/o art and visual culture. Papers consider questions such as: What is the relationship between the public and the monumental? How do public spheres or public personas shape or inform artistic production or expression? Inversely, how do monumental art, architecture, and visual culture affect lived, public spaces? Furthermore, how might separations between public and private arenas of art making be problematized or complicated?

The conference will open with a Friday evening keynote address by Dr. Leonardo López Luján (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico and Proyecto Templo Mayor), followed by a day and a half of papers. Other events include a pre-conference lecture by Dr. López Luján in Berkeley, a tour of Diego Rivera’s Pan-American Unity mural at City College of San Francisco, a visit to the contemporary murals of San Francisco’s Mission District, and a reception at Galeria de la Raza. Please see the conference schedule for details.

Admission to the conference is free, but registration is required. The registration form is available below. Late registration will be accommodated on-site only if space allows.

We encourage conference attendees to join ALAA:

Host Committee
Margaret Jackson (conference chair), University of New Mexico,
Victoria I. Lyall, San Francisco State University,
Matthew H. Robb, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco,
Lisa Trever, University of California, Berkeley,

Selection Committee Chairs
Margaret Jackson, Barbara Mundy, Maria Fernández


Schedule of Events

Thursday, March 17, 2016

• Pre-conference lecture by Dr. Leonardo López Luján (INAH)

4:00 p.m., Archaeological Research Facility, UC Berkeley, 2251 College Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94720

Free and open to the public

“The Aztec Templo Mayor: Urban Archaeology in Modern Mexico City”

The Proyecto Templo Mayor of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia was created in 1978, as a consequence of the discovery of a monolith depicting Coyolxauhqui, the Aztec moon goddess. Since then, other impressive public monuments have come to light in downtown Mexico City, in the area occupied by the sacred precinct of Tenochtitlan. Archaeologists recently uncovered the largest Aztec sculpture ever found, that of the earth goddess Tlaltecuhtli. After an overview on the history of archaeology in Mexico City, this lecture will focus on the new Tlaltecuhtli stone, undertaking a formal, iconographic, and symbolic analysis in order to unveil its functions and meanings. The exceptionally rich offerings buried under this sculpture will also be described. Finally, the possible presence of a royal tomb at the foot of the Great Temple will be discussed.

5:30–6:30 p.m. Reception, Archaeological Research Facility

Friday, March 18, 2016

• Optional afternoon excursion (registration and $30 fee required, details below)

1:00 p.m. Bus departs de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

2:00–4:00 p.m. Visit to Diego Rivera’s 1940 mural, Pan-American Unity, City College of San Francisco, Diego Rivera Theater, 50 Phelan Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112

5:00 p.m. Bus returns

• ALAA keynote evening lecture by Dr. Leonardo López Luján (INAH) – free and open to the public

6:30–7:30 p.m., Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

“Monuments in Motion: The Never-Ending Story of Two Teotihuacan Monoliths”

The ruins of Teotihuacan are not only famed for their imposing pyramids and their luxurious residential complexes decorated with beautiful mural paintings, but also for their monumental sculpture, directly associated with architecture. Two monoliths representing female deities are particularly outstanding in this group, although they were left exposed to the elements for centuries in the Plaza of the Moon following the collapse of the urban center. In fact, the smaller monolith is still present at the site, although the larger one, popularly known as the “Water Goddess” is today exhibited in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

This lecture will present a historiography of the long debate as to the functions and meanings of both images. The most important part of the presentation, however, will be centered on the so-called “social history” of these sculptures once they ceased to be part of the systemic context of Teotihuacan and were converted into the post-Teotihuacan archaeological context. This discussion will analyze written and graphic documents (many unpublished or little known) from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, which tell us how the perceptions and uses of these cult images–by the local population and the enthusiastic visitors to the ruins—were transformed over time.

Leonardo López Luján is a Mexican archaeologist and the current director of the Templo Mayor project of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). He specializes in the politics, religion, and art of Pre-Columbian urban societies in Central Mexico. In recent years he has also devoted part of his time to research on the history of archaeology. Throughout his academic life, he has held many prestigious offices with the various Mexican Academies and has served as a visiting professor at Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Sapienza-Università di Roma, École pratique des hautes études in Paris, and the Francisco Marroquín University of Guatemala. He has been a guest researcher at such institutions as Princeton University, the Musée de l’Homme, Dumbarton Oaks, and the Institut d’études avancées de Paris. Since 1988, he has been a full-time researcher at INAH. In 2013, he was elected correspondent member of the British Academy and honorary member of the Society of Antiquaries of London for his contributions in Mesoamerican studies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Archaeology from Mexico’s National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH) and a doctorate from France’s Université de Paris Ouest.

7:30–8:30 p.m. Reception at the de Young Museum, sponsored by the de Young Museum.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

• ALAA Triennial Conference
“Art at Large: Public and Monumental Arts in the Americas”

Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

10:00 a.m. Welcome (Elisa Mandell, ALAA president)

Opening Remarks (Margaret Jackson, conference chair)

Panel: Ancient

10:15 a.m. Megan E. O’Neil (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), “Miniaturization and Monumentality in the Carved Bones of Tikal Burial 116”

10:40 a.m. Jillian Mollenhauer (Metropolitan State University of Denver), “Art on the Margins: Olmec Monuments in the Gulf Hinterlands”

11:05 a.m. Patrick Hajovsky (Southwestern University), “Moteuczoma’s Sculptures: Absence and Presence in Tenochtitlan”

11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Discussion Q&A

12:00-1:30 p.m. Lunch

Panel: Colonial

1:30 p.m. Emily A. Engel (Independent Scholar), “Envisioning Public History in Lima’s Equestrian Monuments”

1:55 p.m. Derek Burdette (Swarthmore College), “Miraculous Images and the Public Good in Colonial Mexico”

2:20-2:35 p.m. Break

Panel: California
2:35 p.m. Anna Indych-López (The City College of NY and The Graduate Center/CUNY), “Judith Baca’s The Great Wall of Los Angeles: A Public Art of Contestation”

3:00 p.m. Ann Marie Leimer (Midwestern State University), “Balmy Alley: Politics, Protest, Peregrinación, and Public Art”

3:25 – 4:00 Discussion Q&A

4:30–6:30 p.m. Visit to the Mission District — informal tours of Balmy Alley and other public murals

6:30–8:00 p.m. ALAA reception at Galeria de la Raza, 2857 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Sunday, March 20, 2016

• ALAA Triennial Conference
“Art at Large: Public and Monumental Arts in the Americas”

10:00 a.m. Welcome

Panel: Modern/Contemporary

10:15 a.m. Erin L. McCutcheon (Tulane University), “Tradition for a New Revolution: Street Interventions in Mexico City During the 1970s”

10:40 a.m. Lynda Klich (Hunter College, CUNY), “The Colonial in the Modern: Early Mexican Muralism”

11:05-11:20 a.m. Break

11:20 a.m. Lorraine Affourtit (UC Santa Cruz), “Resistance is Fertile: Graphic Art, Collective Identity, and Public Space in the Oaxaca Commune”

11:45 p.m. Vera Beatriz Siqueira (State University of Rio de Janeiro), “Modern Form, Urban Experience: Burle Marx’s Project for Copacabana Boardwalk”

12:10 – 12:40 p.m. Discussion — Closing Comments

2:00–5:00 p.m. Optional museum visits and tours (TBA)


Admission to the ALAA triennial conference in Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum, is free with registration (

Note: Entrance to the de Young Museum galleries requires the purchase of an admission ticket. Admission is free for FAMSF members and for members of museums that participate in the Western and North American Reciprocal Programs: The galleries are open Tuesdays through Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Optional tours: The optional bus tour to visit CCSF Diego Rivera murals has a nominal fee. Registration and payment are required.
Recent coverage of the Rivera murals.


Please register below.


Click Paypal link below to pay the required $30 fee for Optional Bus Tour, CCSF Rivera murals.

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Hotel Suggestions 


Stanyan Park Hotel
750 Stanyan Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 751-1000
Located on the edge of Golden Gate Park and an easy walk to the de Young, the Stanyan is located near a colorful corner of the Haight. There is a Whole Foods nearby, a host of food trucks on Thursday nights, and lots of restaurants, bars, and shopping.


Monte Cristo Inn
600 Presidio Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 931-1875


Geary Parkway Motel
4750 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 752-4406



The de Young is conveniently located on the 5 bus line, which goes all the way down Market at all hours (less frequently at night). The 44 bus also comes to the museum, but it runs north/south and not near hotels. Taxis are usually plentiful near the de Young, but may be harder to come by in other parts of the city. Many people use Uber and Lyft. Parking in San Francisco is always challenging.