Enchanted: Visual Histories of the Central Andes, an exhibition and publication project, depended on the expertise, generosity, and commitment of numerous individuals.

I am immensely grateful to Susan E. Bergh, Kari Dodson, Ana Girard, Amy B. Groleau, Heidi King, and Zoila S. Mendoza for authoring illuminating essays about the works on view in the exhibition and their historical contexts, and for their collaboration over the course of planning. Early research on the Pierre Verger photographs by Emilia Duno and Hector Garcia, interns at the Menil, helped germinate the exhibition project. The realization of this project required the support of numerous museum staff and specialists at the Menil and beyond: David Aylsworth, Asaeda Badat, Lisa Barkley, Jan Burandt, James Craven, Desi Dijkema, Kent Dorn, Angela Duckwall, Brad Epley, Sarah Hobson, Mina Gaber, Madeline Kelly, Kathleen Kiefer, Patricio Marin, Cory Rogge, Jennifer McGlinchey Sexton, Brooke Stroud, Judy Waters, and Katie Wisian. Their significant contributions are felt in the preservation and presentation of work, and the elegant design of the exhibition. I thank Menil Director Rebecca Rabinow, whose encouragement for the project was early and unflagging.

The project found enthusiastic support in and out of Houston with Fred Baldwin, Melza and Ted Barr, Fernando Castro, Nancy Castro, Chelsea Dacus, Jack Moriniere, Frances De La Rosa, Katherine Osuna, David Ruiz, Maria Inés Sicardi, Wendy Watriss, Morris Weiner, Peter Yenne, and the Honorable Rodolfo Enrique Coronado Molina of the Consulado de Peru. Each offered guidance and fostered indispensable connections that made possible the Menil’s first exhibition of Andean visual culture and the publication accompanying it. The work of the Photographic Archive Project, Founded in 1999 and spearheaded by Adelma Benavente Garcia and Peter Yenne was consequential. Their relentless commitment to digitizing and preserving the negatives of Peruvian and Bolivian photographers enriched this publication with early-20th-century images by Crisanto Cabrera, Julio Cordero, and Horacio Ochoa. Peter also facilitated the inclusion of work by contemporary photographer Javier Silva Meinel, as well as providing work of his own. Any discussion of photography in South America is incomplete without the representation of Peruvian photographer Martín Chambi. I am indebted to Jan Mulder and Stefano Klima for the opportunity to present a selection of Chambi’s iconic imagery from the Jan Mulder Collection in Lima, Peru. To Alex Baradel and the staff at Fundação Pierre Verger, I extend my sincere gratitude for allowing the Menil to share Verger’s images of Peru in the publication and reach audiences beyond the exhibition.

All the remarkable information and content generated by these dedicated individuals needed to come together. I thank Joseph N. Newland for his collaboration, wisdom, and humor in this challenging task. The production of the publication demanded the attention of many incredible Menil colleagues: Chris Becker, Paul Hester, Donna McClendon, Margaret McKee, and Nancy O’Connor. Tamara Maletic, Dan Michaelson, and the team at Linked by Air, including Jack Rieger and Colin Duggan, ensure the Menil’s digital publications are efficacious and provide visitors with an engaging platform to learn more about experiences at the museum. For the translations into Spanish, I thank Tony Beckwith for his of the online essays and Paula Santilli for hers of the printed gallery guide. Their superb work enabled us to extend the reach of this project to Spanish-speaking audiences.

Paul R. Davis
Curator of Collections

Launched July 30, 2021. Updates to Dodson and Bergh texts and to date of Menil Prisoner Textile fragment made September 7, 2021.
Compilation © 2021 The Menil Foundation, Inc.
Object photographs provided by the owner unless otherwise credited
Photography of Menil Collection objects by Paul Hester or James Craven (Prisoner Textile) unless otherwise credited

Enchanted: Visual Histories of the Central Andes is a project generously supported by Melza and Ted Barr; Micheline and Germán Newall; Luis and Cecilia Campos; the Ferreyros Family; Valerie and Miguel Miro-Quesada; Brian M. Smyth and Rebecca E. Marvil; John Zipprich; Hightower Texas; Pluspetrol; and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

Conservation of the Prisoner Textile was funded by a generous grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.