Casta, Caste & Classification: If paintings could talk – an academic discussion






Friday 24 February, 14:00-18:00.

Opal22 Arts and Entertainment have organised the panel discussion Casta, Caste and Classification, which will discuss the historical significance of Casta paintings. Tara Munroe, the director of Opal 22, discovered Leicester Museums & Art Gallery’s significant Casta collection 12 years ago, after they were discarded for being “distasteful and irrelevant”. Casta paintings date from the 1600s to the beginning of the 19th century and were designed to show race and class divisions in Spanish colonies. Facial expressions and physical attitudes all encode the hierarchy and status of the people painted, and sometimes racial mixtures are identified and inscribed on the canvas. The event asks: What can we learn from these forms of racial classification and how can we broaden our outlook moving forward?

Guests include Ilona Katzew (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Curator and Department Head of Latin American Art), Dr Susan Deans-Smith (University of Texas, Institute of Latin American Studies), Professor Rebecca Earle (Department of History, University of Warwick) and Michael Ohajuru (Cultural Historian & Senior Fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies).

You can find out more about the Casta project here and book your tickets here!

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