The Benson Latin American Collection

Elizabeth Wilder Weismann:

An Inventory of Her Collection at the Benson Latin American Collection

Descriptive Summary

Creator Weismann, Elizabeth Wilder, 1908-
Title Elizabeth Wilder Weismann Collection
Dates: ca. 1930 - ca. 1979
Abstract Photographic material and research files regarding art and architecture in colonial Mexico and other Latin American countries.
OCLC Record No. 31770051
Extent 4,104 photographs
Extent 2,171 negatives
Extent card files(3 linear ft.)
Languages and [code "engspa" not found in ISO 639-2 list].
Repository Benson Latin American Collection, General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

U.S. scholar of Latin American colonial art and architecture. Born 1907; died 1989 in Austin, Texas. Weismann held positions at the Library of Congress, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Ohio State University. Her publications include a translation of Toussaint, Manuel. Colonial art in Mexico, as well as her own works: A guide to the art of Latin America; Mexico in sculpture; The decorative arts in Latin America; Art and time in Mexico: from the Conquest to the Revolution.

Scope and Contents

Photographic material and research files of interest for art and architectural research into the colonial period in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Photographic prints and negatives, postcards, and occasional reproductions or clippings of images collected by Weismann depict architecture, painting, graphic and minor arts, and sculpture in Mexico, Central America and South America from pre-Conquest to modern times. A few images are from California, New Mexico, and Texas.

Some images are originals taken by Weismann; most are copies she obtained from Mexican photographic collections, including that of Guillermo Kahlo at the library of the Instituto Nacional Antropología e Historia.

Other photographers contributing to the collection include George Kubler, John McAndrew, Judith Hancock de Sandoval, and commercial photographer Salvador Toscano.

Extensive card files concern artisans, monuments, paintings, and art objects of colonial New Spain.

Administrative Information

Prepared by the Mexican Archives Project

November 1994


The Elizabeth Wilder Weismann Collection was donated by Weismann to the Benson Latin American Collection in 1985. The collection was described by the Benson's Mexican Archives Project in August 1994.

The collection comprises circa 6,275 photographs and negatives and three linear feet (10 boxes) of card files. A container list and partial item list are available in the library.

Weismann's publication, Americas: the decorative arts in Latin America in the era of the revolution, Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution, 1976, was based upon the collection.

The suggested citation for the papers is “Elizabeth Wilder Weismann Collection, ca. 1930-ca. 1979, Benson Latin American Collection, General Libraries, University of Texas at Austin.”

Container List


Series I, Photographic and visual material
[ca. 6,275 items]

1 Subseries 1, Mexico
[17 boxes]
Primarily about architecture in Mexico, the series also contains materials on sculpture, painting, graphic arts, and minor arts in Mexico.
1 Chiapas
2 Distrito Federal?
3 D.F.: contact prints by Judith Hancock
4 D.F.: Judith Hancock de Sandoval
5 print #68 (323)
6 print #359
7-9 Distrito Federal
box folder
2 1-2 Guanajuato
3 Guerrero
4 Hidalgo
5 Jalisco
6-7 Mexico (state)
8 Michoacán
9 Morelos
10 Oaxaca
11 Puebla
box folder
3 1 Puebla
2 Querétaro
3 San Luis Potosí
4 Sinaloa
5 Tlaxcala
6 Yucatán
7 Zacatecas
4-5 Architecture, etc., Central Highland Mexico
6 Architecture, wood sculpture, painting
Prints: Chiapas, Guanajuato, Guerrero
7 Prints: Hidalgo, Jalisco
8 Prints: Mexico, D.F.
9 Prints: Mexico state, Michoacán
10 Prints: Morelos, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca
11 Prints: Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Tlaxcala, the Alamo
12 Negatives: Chiapas, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco
13 Negatives: Mexico, D.F.; Mexico state; Michoacán
14 Negatives: Morelos, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Tlaxcala, the Alamo
15 Architecture, sculpture, paintings (alpha by state); Notidentified geographically: Graphics, painting, sculpture
16 Graphic arts
1 Books
2 Engravings
3 Lithography
4 Manuscripts
5 Painting - Genre
6-7 Painting - Saints/Ecclesiastics
8 Painting - 16th century
9 Painting - 18th century
10-11 Painting - 19th century portraits
12 Painting - 20th century portraits
13 Painting
14 Photography
15 Posada, José Guadalupe
16 Woodcuts
17 Maps
box folder
17 1 Sculpture
Minor arts
2 Bookbinding, food, glass, ivory, straw
3 Ceramics
4 Clothing and costume
5 Decorations, fireworks
6 Furniture
7 Iron and steel
8 Jewelry
9 Lacquer
10 Leather
11 Masks
12 Silver
13 Textiles
14 Woodcarving
15 Descriptive information prepared by Weismann on photographs in Mexico, Minor arts sub subseries
16-18 Minor arts
18 Subseries 2, Latin America (except Mexico)
[3 boxes and 2 folders]
Architecture, minor arts, sculpture, and painting in Latin America.
1-2 Argentina
3 Bolivia
4-5 Brazil
6 Colombia
7 Cuba
8 Costa Rica
9-10 Ecuador
11-12 Guatemala
box folder
19 1 Honduras
2 Nicaragua
3 Panama
4 Paraguay
5 Peru (Arequipa-Copacabana)
6 Peru (Cuzco)
7 Peru (Lima-Trujillo)
8 Peru (Unidentified)
9 Peru (Machu Picchu)
10 Peru
20 Minor arts
1 Argentina - Silver
2 Brazil - Furniture
3 Brazil - Wood carving
4 Chile - Furniture
5 Chile - Silver
6 Colombia - Furniture
7 Ecuador - Furniture
8 Ecuador - Iron
9 Ecuador - Silver
10 Ecuador - Woodworking
11 Guatemala
12 Panama - Iron, silver
13 Peru - Furniture
14 Peru - Jewelry
15 Peru - Silver
16 Peru - Woodworking
17 South America - Brass, bronze, copper
18 South America - Ceramics
19 South America - Clothing and costume
20 South America - Cult images
21 South America - Furniture
22 South America - Gourds, tortoise shell, mother of pearl
23 South America - Iron and steel
24 South America - Leather
25 South America - Silver
26 South America - Textiles
27 South America - Woodcarving
28 Venezuela - Jewelry
29 Venezuela - Silver
30 Furniture
31 Votive jewelry
32 Unidentified
33 Descriptive information prepared by Weismann on photographs in Latin America, Minor Arts sub-subseries
34-35 Sculpture
36 Painting
box folder
21 1-2 Adams photographs - Argentina
Subseries 3, Mixed Mexican and other Latin American materials
[4 boxes]
Materials which could not be identified or separated into the preceding two subseries. Included are items from the pre-Conquest era; from Weismann's travels to Mexico as well as (in 1940-1941) Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Yucatán; and scenes of Mexican and Guatemalan architecture and streets.
3 Mexico
4 Tula, Hidalgo
5 Yucatán
6 Yucatán
7 Maya-Central America
8 Postcards - Mexico and Central America
9 South America
10 Miscellaneous
11 Photographic reproductions of museum objects
12 Bonampak
22 Photographic material from long trips
Prints (Mexico only): general landscape, some towns, countryside, sculpture
23 35 mm negatives from Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Yucatán (1940-1941)
24 Mexico/Guatemala (architecture, street scenes, very little sculpture)
25 Subseries 4, USA - Architecture
[1 folder]
1 USA - Architecture
Subseries 5, Renwick Gallery exhbition
[3 folders]
Includes lists of images in the exhibition, 12 color slides of objects from the Fundaçao Museu used in the exhibition, and the publication, Americas: the decorative arts in Latin America in the era of the revolution.
2 Lists of images
3 Brazil and Peru: Fundaçao Museu Carlos Costa Pinto
12 color slides
4 Americas: the decorative arts in Latin America in the era of the revolution
Subseries 6, Assorted materials.
Four folders of biographical information on Weismann, one folder of her notes relating to her arrangement of the collection, 44 negatives labeled, “Chile (Araucanian items),” and a few additional negatives.
5-8 Biographical information on Weismann
9 Notes, etc. from Weismann's arrangement project
26 Chile (Araucanian items)
44 negatives
Brazil, Venezuela, and unidentified
27 5 × 7 negatives


Series II, Bibliographic card files

Card files concern artisans, monuments, paintings, and art objects of colonial New Spain. Arranged by Weismann in the following groups: artists; authors; authors and travelers; and index to files of towns having sculpture. Cards relating to the Renwick exhibit are filed separately by Mexican state; a few relate to Guatemala, the Philippines, and the U.S.A., and are filed accordingly.
Subseries 1, General
28 Artists
29 Artists; Authors
30 Authors; “Authors and travelers”
31 “Authors and travelers”
32 Index to files of towns having sculpture
Subseries 2, Renwick exhibit
33 Aguas Calientes; D.F. Mexico
34 D.F. Mexico - Jalisco
35 Mexico (state) - Oaxaca (state)
36 Oaxaca (city) - Quintana Roo
37 San Luis Potosí - Zacatecas; Guatemala, Philippines, U.S.A.