Amara Solari

  • Professor of Art History and Anthropology
  • Latin American Art and Architectural History

206 Borland

Amara Solari


My research focuses on the processes of, and the inevitable inequities produced by, cultural, visual, and theological interchange between Indigenous groups of Mesoamerica and Spanish settler-colonists of New Spain. Centered on material and visual culture, I have written multiple articles, several co-authored books, and three monographs, which span the precontact and early colonial periods. The most recently published, Idolizing Mary: Maya-Catholic Icons in Yucatán, Mexico, investigates discourses of early modern conceptions of contagious disease and religion, using Maya-venerated cults of the Virgin Mary to understand the development of Yucatecan religiosity as a form of Indigenous opposition to Spanish colonization. I am working on several collaborative projects, including one that elucidates early modern religious painting in Yucatán, a project that is funded by a three-year collaborative grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The result of this research is a book, Maya-Christian Murals in Early Modern Yucatán, forthcoming with the University of Texas Press. I am currently in the preliminary stage of research for my fourth monograph, Missions Impossible: The Art of Franciscan Failure and Puebloan Perseverance in Nuevo México, which examines the ways Indigenous art and architecture were co-opted by various colonial actors during Catholic evangelical campaigns prior to the 1648 Pueblo Revolt. I am also co-curating an exhibition, "Recollecting the Art and Science of the Ancient Andes," due to open in Penn State's Palmer Museum of Art in Fall 2024.

Collected Works