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Salon El Zaguán: Beverly Spears on Early Churches of Mexico: An Architect's View


Beverley Spears on Early Mexican Churches of Mexico: An Architect's ViewEarly Churches of Mexico: An Architect's View

Historic Santa Fe Foundation presents the April Salon El Zaguán monthly lecture series with Beverley Spears on her book Early Mexican Churches: An Architect's View. The talk is scheduled for Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 3pm in the sala of HSFF offices located at 545 Canyon Road, Suite 2, Santa Fe.

There is no charge for admission for members and the non-members entry fee is $5. RSVP is required to 505-983-2567 or Membership information on our Join & Give page.

Following the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the early 1500s, Franciscan, Dominican, and Augustinian friars fanned out across the central and southern areas of the country, founding hundreds of mission churches and monasteries to evangelize the Native population. This book documents more than 120 of these remarkable sixteenth-century sites in duotone black-and-white photographs.

Virtually unknown outside Mexico, these complexes unite architecture, landscape, mural painting, and sculpture on a grand scale, in some ways rivaling the archaeological sites of the Maya and Aztecs. They represent a fascinating period in history when two distinct cultures began interweaving to form the fabric of modern Mexico. Many were founded on the sites of ancient temples and reused their masonry, and they were ornamented with architectural murals and sculptures that owe much to the existing Native tradition—almost all the construction was done by indigenous artisans.

With these photos, Spears celebrates this unique architectural and cultural heritage to help ensure its protection and survival.

Beverley Spears has been practicing architecture and landscape architecture in Santa Fe since 1974 and started Spears Architects (now Spears Horn architects) in 1981. She is President elect of the American Institute of Architects Santa Fe chapter and a past board member of Historic Santa Fe Foundation. Spears designed the Santa Fe Plaza Bandstand, led the local team on the design of the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, and her firm has won numerous design awards for houses, schools, historic preservation, and community projects. She is also the author of another publication, American Adobes: Rural Houses of Northern New Mexico.