Maya Stanfield-Mazzi is an art historian specializing in art of the ancient and early modern Americas, especially that of the colonial Andes. She focuses on artistic agency, Indigenous knowledge, and cultural heritage.
Her first book Object and Apparition: Envisioning the Christian Divine in the Colonial Andes (University of Arizona Press, 2013) demonstrates that Catholicism took hold in the Andes only when Native Andeans actively envisioned, and materialized, images of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Her second book (University of Notre Dame Press, 2021) is titled Clothing the New World Church: Liturgical Textiles of Spanish America, 1520–1820. Arguing that the visual culture of cloth was an important and previously-unrecognized aspect of Catholic church art in the Americas, she interrogates how a "silk standard" was established on the basis of priestly preferences for imported woven silks. She also shows that in select times and places, spectacular local textile types were adapted for church settings, reflecting ancestral aesthetic and ideological patterns. The book is the first broad survey of church textiles of Spanish America, one that also closely examines selected local developments.
A Spanish translation of the section of Clothing the New World Church on dye-painted cloth hangings from Chachapoyas, Peru, was published by the Instituto Kuelap at the Universidad Nacional Toribio Rodríguez de Mendoza de Amazonas, as part of Peru's bicentennial celebration of its independence from Spain. It is titled Los paños de la Pasión de Chachapoyas.
Stanfield-Mazzi contributed the chapter on architecture of the Spanish and Portuguese Americas to the all-new 21st edition of Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture, published by Bloomsbury with the Royal Institute of British Architects and the University of London. The book was awarded the 2020 Colvin Prize from the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. The research presented there relates to her teaching on cultural heritage, since every two years she leads a study abroad trip to Peru in which students assist in architectural conservation projects led by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture and the Archbishopric of Cusco.
Most recently she co-edited with Margarita Vargas-Betancourt a collection of essays titled Collective Creativity and Artistic Agency in Colonial Latin America (University Press of Florida, 2023). With chapters on Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, and Cuba, the volume rethinks the role of the artist and recovers the work of unacknowledged creators in colonial society.
Stanfield-Mazzi has published articles in Current Anthropology, Hispanic Research Journal, Colonial Latin American Review, Religion and the Arts, and The Americas. She also wrote bibliographic essays on painting in the Viceroyalty of Peru and Andean textiles for Oxford Bibliographies Online.
Stanfield-Mazzi attended Smith College for her B.A. and received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her fellowships include a National Resource Fellowship to study Quechua and a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship for study in Peru. She was a visiting professor at Tulane University before coming to the University of Florida. In Fall 2015 she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Sainsbury Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, U.K.
Courses Currently Taught:
IDS 2935 Art Crime (a Quest 1: Justice and Power class)
ARH 2613 Introduction to Latin American Art
ARH 3652 Ancient Andean Art
ARH 4930 Indigenous Arts of the Colonial Americas
ARH 3357 Global Baroque Art
ARH 3665 Colonial Andean Art
ARH 4931 Senior Capstone Seminar (Past topics include Latin American Murals, Art and Globalization, and Inka Art in Its Andean Context.)
ARH 6654 Pre-Columbian Art Seminar (Past topics include Art and Urbanism in the Ancient Americas, Andean Textiles, Moche Art, and Inka Art in Art Historical Terms.)
ARH 6666 Colonial Latin American Art Seminar (Past topics include Colonial Andean Architecture, Art and Globalization, Visualizing the Natural World, and Colonial Andean Painting.)
IDH 3931 Scholars in Peru
Selected Articles and Chapters:*
“Catholic Cloth: Authority, Decorum, and Transcendence in the Spanish American Church,” in Painted Cloth: Fashion and Ritual in Colonial Latin America, ed. Rosario I. Granados. Austin: Tower Books and Blanton Museum of Art, 2022.
“La creatividad en el arte andino: Una aproximación desde los tapices estandarizados [Creativity in Andean Art, from the Vantage Point of Standardized Tapestries],” in El arte antes de la historia, edited by Marco Curatola. Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2020.
“Central and South America, 1492–1820,” in Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture, all-new 21st edition, edited by Murray Fraser. London: Royal Institute of British Architects, 2020. Winner of the 2020 Colvin Prize from the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.
“The Cloth of Colonization: Peruvian Tapestries in the Andes and in Foreign Museums,” in Unmasking Ideology: The Vocabulary, Symbols, and Legacy of Imperial and Colonial Archaeology, edited by Bonnie Effros and Guolong Lai. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, Univ. of California Press, 2018.
“Uniquely American Visions of the Virgin Mary,” in Painting in Colonial Bolivia, ed. Suzanne Stratton-Pruitt. Philadelphia: St. Joseph’s University Press, 2017.
"El ‘ajuar divino’ de la escuela cuzqueña [The Divine Cloth of the Cusco School],” in Escuela cuzqueña, eds. Ricardo Kusunoki and Luis Eduardo Wuffarden. Lima, Peru: Museo de Arte de Lima, 2016.
“Weaving and Tailoring the Andean Church: Textile Ornaments and their Makers in Colonial Peru,” part of special issue on indigenous intermediaries, The Americas, v. 72(1), 2015: 77–102.
“El complemento artístico a las misas para difuntos en el Perú colonial [The Artistic Complements to Masses for the Dead in Colonial Peru],” in Peruvian ecclesiastical history journal Allpanchis, v. 77/78, 2014: 49–81.
“From Baroque Triumphalism to Neoclassical Renunciation: Altarpieces of the Cathedral of Cusco in the Independence Era,” in Visual Cultures of Latin America: Essays on Buen Gusto and Classicism, 1780-1910, edited by Paul Niell and Stacie Widdifield. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2013.
“Cult, Countenance, and Community: Donor Portraits from the Colonial Andes,” in Religion and the Arts v. 15(4), 2011: 429–59.
“The Possessor’s Agency: Private Art Collecting in the Colonial Andes,” in Colonial Latin American Review v. 18(3), 2009: 339–64.
“Shifting Ground: Elite Sponsorship of the Cult of Christ of the Earthquakes in Eighteenth-Century Cusco,” in Hispanic Research Journal v. 8(5), 2007: 45–65.
Co-authored with Cecelia Klein (senior author), Eulogio Guzmán, and Elisa Mandell: “The Role of Shamanism in Mesoamerican Art: A Reassessment,” in Current Anthropology v. 43(3), 2002: 383–419.
*Several articles are available in pdf form on Dr. Stanfield-Mazzi's academia.edu page.