“Women Designers of the 20th Century, Shaping National Artistic Identities in Latin America,” the third “Cisneros Seminar in the Material Cultures of the Ibero-American World, will take place on December 6, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm. This seminar, created in conjunction with the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, was established to advance scholarship on the cultures of the Ibero-American world through the study of the material artifacts of this region across space, time, media, and methodology.

Defying social conventions and exploring disciplines traditionally performed by men such as design and studio craft, women designers played a fundamental role in spreading the ideas of the Modern avant-garde art in Latin America. Though their writings, professional practice, and by educating the next generations of designers, those women actively contributed to define what is today’s Latin American design. This seminar will explore the life and work of some of these designers such as Elena Izcue, a Peruvian educator and textile designer who found in Peruvian ancient pre-Columbian traditions a source of inspiration for designing children’s art textbooks and fashionable modern textiles; Clara Porset, a Cuban-Mexican designer whose furniture became iconic in Mexican mid-century modern interiors; and the Brazilians Lina Bo Bardi, Carmem Portinho and Gilda de Mello e Souza, whose pioneering ideas and work shaped Brazilian modern design and design education.

Natalia Majluf
Director Museo de Arte de Lima
Elena Izcue: Precolumbian Design in Modern Life

Ana Elena Mallet
Independent Writer and Curator
Clara Porset: Inventing Modern Design in Mexico

Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos
Associate Professor of Design, School of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo
Women And Brazilian Modern Design

Pat Kirkham
Professor, Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture