This lecture launches the inaugural meeting of the Cisneros Seminar in the Material Cultures of the Ibero-American World. This initiative aims to promote study of the cultures of the Ibero-American World through its material artifacts, across space, time, media and methodology and irrespective of institutional and national divisions.The core of the project is the creation of a network of scholars, practitioners and intellectuals, whether independent or based in universities, museums, cultural institutions or business, who are united in their commitment to studying the cultural history of the material Hispanic world. Our ambition is that out of this network will grow a new field of scholarly inquiry.