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A Land So Remote : Religious Art of New Mexico 1780-1907 [Hardcover]

By Larry Frank (Author), Charles Bennett (Author), David Skolkin (Author) & Michael O'Shaughnessy (Author)
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Item description for A Land So Remote : Religious Art of New Mexico 1780-1907 by Larry Frank, Charles Bennett, David Skolkin & Michael O'Shaughnessy...

Volumes 1 and 2 of A Land So Remote-Religious Art of New Mexico 1780-1907 elegantly illustrate the development of religious art in northern New Mexico during an active period of over 125 years. To sustain their faith when they came to the New World, the Spanish relied on santos, visual representations of saints, to alleviate their loneliness and enrich their lives. The result is a uniquely American art which embodies the religious spirit and aspirations of New Mexico's Spanish immigrants, whose enduring faith helped them cope with the rigors of a harsh and dangerous frontier life. With roots in Spanish baroque style, the pieces illustrated in this book played an important role in church, community and family. Many of these rare and beautiful works of art have never been published. With hundreds of color photographs of works from four museums and numerous private collections, A Land So Remote is vital to any art library and as a reference for collectors.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Red Crane Books
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.3" Width: 9.44" Height: 1.08"
Weight:   3.92 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 2001
Publisher   Red Crane Books
ISBN  1878610732  
ISBN13  9781878610737  

Availability  0 units.

More About Larry Frank, Charles Bennett, David Skolkin & Michael O'Shaughnessy

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Frank graduated from the University of California-Berkeley in English literature and philosophy and traveled in Europe and India before enrolling in UCLA's cinema school. He wrote, directed, and produced educational films and a fictional feature that won an Edinburgh Film Festival award. He has studied Native American cultures and Spanish Colonial art.

Larry Frank currently resides in Taos, in the state of New Mexico. Larry Frank was born in 1926 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of California, San Diego.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Criticism
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Regional > United States
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > General
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Religious
5Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > State & Local - By State > New Mexico
6Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Spain

Reviews - What do customers think about A Land So Remote : Religious Art of New Mexico 1780-1907?

A "Feast" for the Scholar and General Public Alike  Jan 23, 2002

Prior to the holidays, I received a great gift, a copy of the beautifully produced three-volume study A Land So Remote, authored by Larry Frank and Skip Miller, and published by Marianne and Michael O'Shaughnessy of Red Crane Books, Publishers, Santa Fe.
Creation of a successful publication of this magnitude can only be accomplished by many who work in concert, in this case scholar, editor, publisher and, of course, those who are willing to share their treasures with anyone wishing to turn the pages in this landmark study. Frank and Miller have devoted a large percentage of their lives carefully studying and painstakingly handling objects-some of religious importance, powerful images that were the subject of daily devotion, while other objects that served a useful function in the lives of hundreds of thousands attempting to make their lives easier. To the Hispanic, Native American, and the Anglo, these objects were an integral part of daily life-whether as an expression of their spirituality, their intense religious devotion-- or to enable them to perform certain physical tasks-- cutting wood or baking bread.
The authors, in concert with photographer Michael O'Shaughnessy, have treated each object sympathetically, whether it be a santo or bulto, or packsaddle or carreta wheels, with the same level of care, even reverence. The real joy is in seeing so many diverse objects fashioned out of wood and other materials in significant numbers. How often have we had the opportunity of examining page after page of images beautifully organized and described. The authors, of course, treat us to a display of work by lesser known santeros, as well as the most celebrated, notably José Rafael Aragon. Volume two devotes pages 288 to 377 to some of the most powerful religious images by Aragon and his followers that the reader will ever experience.
Since 1974, I have been a frequent visitor to New Mexico and have written a few books on the Anglo painters. After reading Miller's and Frank's essays, I said to myself, "I wish I had written these words. Both scholars write with conviction and authority. They also write in a style I have labeled "an easy read." They have organized their material so that it makes sense. You understand why the objects were created, who created them and importantly, how they were created. Happily, these objects, some still in the churches in Ranchos de Taos, Chimayo, Taos, and chapels throughout the Southwest, others in museums and private collections, have been "gathered" and presented to the reader and viewer in a beautiful and effective manner (I was tempted to use the phrase elegant but refrained).
All reviews of the publication praise A Land So Remote for its visual appeal, handsome photographs," fascinating account of the history and culture of Hispanic New Mexico," scholarship, a major contribution to Hispanic studies. One critic even suggested that, before being placed in a glass case [with other rare books], it might serve as a coffee table book. Never! If anything, it will be a banquet table book, and will be the scene of great feasts-visual and literary. But their words, like mine, fail to express the impact this handsome three-volume study will have on you-the participant. This study will, like the objects that it treats, transcends time. Secure your copy. I can assure you that it will never gather dust (although it will go out-of-print).

Dean A. Porter, Ph. D.
Director Emeritus, The Snite Museum of Art
Professor of Art History
University of Notre Dame

Published by the vaunted Red Crane Books of Santa Fe, New Mexico, this three volume set on religious art and wooden artifacts of New Mexico is a rare, rich visual and intellectual repast. It would be a treasured gift, one to which collectors and aficionados will return time and again.

Larry Frank is remembered for "The New Kingdom of the Saints" (1997), while Skip Miller is curator and director, Taos Historic Museums.

With 842 stunning color photographs and 848 pages A Land so Remote surely holds the most comprehensive and accessible information on this subject. Many of the photos included are of rare objects gleaned from nine museums and a number of private collections. Carefully selected for the part each plays in this artistic corpus, photos are accompanied by concise essays that enhance knowledge while still piquing an interest to know more.

Volumes I and II beautifully present the growth of religious art during a period of over 125 years. It was a time when in order to undergird their faith Spanish settlers turned to santos, visual representations of saints. Thus was born an art form unique to America which once was of great import in churches, communities and homes.. Santos were, if you will, incarnations of the hopes and dreams of these immigrants.

"Rightly understood," author Frank remarks, "santos are a kind of `liberation theology' written in the language of wood, plaster, and paint, an understanding of Christianity that empowers the poor to free themselves from unjust socioeconomic and cultural structures in the larger world and within themselves.

Volume III centers on wooden objects, such as tools, furniture, toys, and domestic utensils. These objects testify to the influence of the Spanish on the traditions of the indigenous inhabitants of this region.

Photographer Michael O'Shaughnessy described his task as a "...wonderful, often awesome, experience of having such close contact with material that radiates the love and importance that their makers brought to their creation."

Such is the case with readers as they leaf through the pages of these landmark volumes.

- Gail Cooke


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