Juliet Wiersema


Assistant Professor of Art History
Pre-Hispanic and Spanish Colonial Art

University of Texas at San Antonio
Department of Art and History
One UTSA Circle, San Antonio TX 78249
phone :: 210-458-7854
fax :: 210-458-4356
office :: ART 4.01.24

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Education and Training
PhD, University of Maryland, College Park (2010)
MA, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (2002)

Research Interests
Pre-Hispanic (Pre-Columbian) Art, Architecture, and Archaeology; Colonial Latin American Art; Spanish Baroque Art; Looting, Forgery, Collecting, and the Art Market; Antiquities Trafficking; Ceramic Technology; Whistling Vessels; Object Conservation

Juliet Wiersema is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas, San Antonio. She specializes in the art, archaeology, and architecture of the pre-Hispanic Americas. She holds an MA from the Institute of Fine Arts (NYU) and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Before joining the faculty at UTSA in 2012, she taught at University of Maryland (2008-2012) and at Santa Clara University (2010-2011). She has held research positions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2011-2012), the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (2007), and The Library of Congress (2006). She was a US Student Fulbright Fellow to Peru in 2007-2008.

MALI presentacion del libro [1600x1200]Her research and teaching has centered on the artifacts, art, and architecture of the pre-Hispanic and Spanish Colonial Americas. Juliet has been affiliated with the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She has collaborated with Interactive Knowledge on web projects including Off the Map, an interactive guide to global Visionary Art, created for The Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore (www.pbs.org/independentlens/offthemap/) and Del Corazón, Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Latino Voices site (www.delcorazon.si.edu). She has also worked with the US Department of Justice and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement on issues of antiquities trafficking and cultural patrimony.

jw w clothesline - CopyHer approach to art and artifacts is interdisciplinary, collaborative, and object-based, drawing upon art historical as well as anthropological theory and methods. She has worked with museum conservators at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and at the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Arqueología e Historia del Perú (MNAAHP) in Lima to understand the history of production, artistic process, and technical style of objects and paintings. With musicians and ethno-musicologists, she has analyzed acoustical characteristics of Andean ceramic whistling vessels produced by pre-Hispanic cultures, gleaning information about connections between tonality and cultural identity.

Her doctoral dissertation (2010) examined the role of ceremonial architecture and its representation in ceramic objects made for burial by the Moche of Peru (200-850 AD). This work received the 2010 University of Maryland Distinguished Dissertation Award, College of Arts and Humanities. A revision of this research, Ceramic Diagrams of Sacred Space. Architectural Vessels of the Moche, has been written into a book for University of Texas Press. Its anticipated date of publication is 2014.

While she considers northern California home, she has lived in Barcelona, Spain; Lima, Peru; Siena, Italy; San Francisco; CA; Washington D.C., and New York City. She resides currently in San Antonio, TX. Before undertaking graduate study in 2000, Juliet worked for the Space Science Division at NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute. She also freelanced for the San Francisco Examiner Travel section.

Courses Taught
● Art and Architecture of Europe and the Americas, 1250-1700 AD
● Representations of Death, Burial, and the Body in Art
● Looting, Forgery, Collectors, and the Art Market
● Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Americas
● Latin American Art, 1521 AD-present
● Art, Empire, and Identity in Latin America

Representative Publications

Ceramic Diagrams of Sacred Space. Architectural Vessels of the Moche of Peru, University of Texas Press (pending publication).

“Vasijas arquitectónicas Moche. Pequeñas estructuras, grandes consecuencias,” in Microcosmos, visión andina de los espacios prehispánicos,” ed. Adine Gavazzi, in press.

“Moche Architectural Vessels: Small Structures, Big Implications,” Andean Past 10:67-98, 2012.

“La relación simbólica entre las representaciones arquitectónicas en las vasijas Mochica y su función ritual,” in Modelando el mundo. Imágenes de la arquitectura precolombina, ed. Cecilia Pardo (Lima: PUCP Fondo Editorial and Museo de Arte Lima), p. 165-191, 2012.

“House Models of West Mexico,” in The Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress, ed. Arthur Dunkelman (Washington DC: Library of Congress), p. 45-46, 2007.

Student Theses Advised
Michelle D’Ippolito, “New Methods of Mapping: The Application of Social Network Analysis to the Study of the Illegal Trade in Antiquities,” Undergraduate Honors Thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park, 2011. Committee: Donald Craib, Paul Shackel, and Bill Stuart.

Zev A. Cossin, “Ancient Andean Rituals: A Comparative Analysis of Ideology and Bases of Authority,” Undergraduate Honors Thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park, 2010. Committee: Regina Harrison, Mark Leone, and Bill Stuart.

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