Across Frontiers
Hispanic Crafts of New Mexico

By Dexter Cirillo
In collaboration with Nancy Pletka Benkof
Photography by Eric Swanson

(San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1998)

Across Frontiers

At last, a beautiful, authoritative survey of the popular and thriving Hispanic craft movement of the Southwest. Tracing the roots and revival of arts originally brought to Mexico and the United States by Spanish settlers, this book includes over 150 photographs of art representing the work of more than 80 contemporary artists. Studio shots and fascinating interviews highlight the work of individual artists.

Gorgeous, colorful chapters on weaving, furniture making, straw and tin arts, and santos (the traditional rendering of Catholic saints) reveal how these historic crafts have become today’s living arts. The thoughtful and well-researched text by Dexter Cirillo illuminates the rich cultural history of the region, a place where frontiers overlapped and intermingled, producing an entirely unique indigenous aesthetic.

“In an era when Americans are constantly changing their addresses, it’s remarkable to witness a culture that has been regionally intact for four centuries,” states Dexter Cirillo. “That continuity is exactly what has created a history and a parade of traditions that New Mexico’s Hispanic population has handed down from one generation to the next.”

Across Frontiers is the first book to do justice to the modern artwork created in the four-hundred-year-old tradition of Hispanic crafts.

Rudolfo Anaya
"Across Frontiers wonderfully captures the spirit and work of our contemporary artists."

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