Savannah Esquivel

Junior Fellow

As a Marty Center Junior Fellow (PhD Candidate in Art History), I look forward to advancing my dissertation during the upcoming academic year and sharing my findings with my colleagues across the Quad in the Divinity School. As an art historian, I am particularly grateful for the generous opportunity provided by the Marty Center to participate in an interdisciplinary dialogue about the intersection of art and religious expression. My research focuses on the art and architecture of colonial Latin America, with an emphasis on sixteenth-century Mexico and Spain. My dissertation, Ornament and Antiquity in the Murals of Sixteenth-Century Mexico, examines how mendicant friars and indigenous artists variously conceived of the decorative, and elucidates the crucial role of non-representational modes of painting in defining the Christian image in Mexico. An important part of my research involves investigating current devotional practices often in the very churches where communities have practiced their faith for five hundred years. Not only will the Fellowship contribute breadth to my dissertation, but it will also provide important preparation for conversations with students and the public about the links between art and religion in the world today.