This bibliographical compilation of writings on a crucial period in the development of Latin American art is, as is only natural in a publication of this kind, the result of teamwork. A long list of collaborators, presumably all art historians of well-deserved reputations, worked under the coordinating efforts of general editor Bailey to bring this volume to its successful publication.
In the preface, the scope of the volume and the method followed by its collaborators are clearly explained, and, as becomes obvious later on, these are applied with care and caution. While the first volume consisted of general references on art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this second volume, published within two years of the first, deals with the colonial period of roughly the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. A third volume, on pre-Columbian art, is in the planning stage.
It is certainly not an easy task to achieve what must be the goal of any publication of this type: completeness. The material published on the period mentioned has multiplied tenfold in the last two decades, and would he almost unsurveyable were it not for works such as this one. The need is there. This book fills a gap, and art historians as well as artists and art lovers will he grateful for the effort.
Nor is it a straightforward job to provide easy access to the information, while keeping the data manageable at the same time. In this, too, the compilers have succeeded admirably. Without too much trouble, users can find their way, aided by abundant explanations and instructions. Indeed, the bibliography is designed for the general public as well as for more sophisticated users. Problems with geographical regions where flag-changing occurred are solved in a logical way. After the geographical heading, and in alphabetical order, is a general section of authors and titles, preceded by the date of publication. These, in turn, are followed by a list of primary sources; travel accounts; general art books; catalogs of exhibitions; lists of collections and auctions; and studies of architecture, painting, sculpture, graphics, printing, etc. Samples are given of how the material has been classified, as well as brief excerpts from the contents. Variations in names of artists and titles of works are mentioned. Thorough research was conducted, together with extensive verification in case of discrepancies. An elaborate list of abbreviations (which also covers volume I) is included, as is an index of symbols, abbreviations and acronyms, and a final index of authors and artists. After carefully checking the personal names, the only error I detected was in my own name.