The Benson Latin American Collection (The University of Texas)Style:
BaroqueAreas of Significance:
AustinThe Benson Latin American Collection
(The University of Texas at Austin)
In 1920 two representatives of The University of Texas at Austin, attending a presidential inauguration in Mexico City, were transfixed by the sight of the first edition of Bernal Díaz del Castillo's Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España (True History of the Conquest of New Spain, Madrid, 1632). There, in a bookstore window, was the eyewitness account by a Spanish conquistador of the early Spanish adventures in Mexico. That single purchase led to their discovery of the availability of the unique private library of the recently deceased Mexican bibliophile, lawyer, and historian, Genaro García. Within months, UT Austin purchased the García library and its 25,000 volumes of books and periodicals relating to Mexico, the Americas, the West Indies, and Spain as well as manuscripts, photographs and other visual materials, which became the nucleus of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. (read more below)
Peter Mansbendel was hired to carve 3 large baroque cartouches in 1937 representing the Cabeza de Vaca coat-of-arms, Seal of the Francisican order, and the bookplate of Genaro Garcia. These cartouches orginally hung in the UT main building and were later moved to the building below in the1970's. The carvings were executed in walnut and are ~32.5" H and 27" W.
Photographs © 2007 The Benson Latin American Collection (The University of Texas). Posted with permission.