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Dr. Kathryn Santner is an art historian who specializes in the art of the Spanish Americas. Her research concerns themes of gender, race, and religion in the early modern Andes and the Philippines. Dr. Santner is the inaugural Thoma Scholar for the Arts of the Spanish Americas collection at the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation. At the Thoma Foundation, Santner continues to research and document the Foundation’s extensive collection of South American and Caribbean painting. She has also worked to bolster conservation efforts and scientific analysis of the collection. Her interest in collections-based research began with her experience as a curatorial intern at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and continued with her doctoral research on a monastic collection of painting and decorative arts in Peru.

Dr. Santner holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MPhil and PhD from the University of Cambridge. She began her scholarly work on women’s monastic foundations at Cambridge with a dissertation on the Dominican convent of Santa Catalina de Sena in Arequipa, Peru, which she is adapting into a monograph. Her research focuses on the role of art and the built environment in identity formation among Santa Catalina’s nuns. In 2016, she was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Latin American Studies, School of Advanced Study at the University of London, to expand her research to the convents and beaterios of the Spanish Pacific. Dr. Santner has spent much of her career researching and writing in archives and libraries throughout the Andes, the Philippines, and Spain. Her second book project, Transpacific Sisters: Art and the Lived Religion of Monastic Women in the Spanish Pacific (in preparation), won residential fellowships from the Newberry Library and John Carter Brown Library (postponed due to the pandemic). Forthcoming projects include a co-edited special issue of Colonial Latin American Review, entitled “Visualizing Blackness in Colonial Latin America” (2021), and an article in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians on Peruvian convent cells as domestic and spiritual spaces.

During her tenure in New Mexico, Dr. Santner will work on a research paper on the circulation of prints of Peruvian women based on now-lost paintings by the limeño artist Julián Dávila y Jayo. Among her future research interests are the Venezuelan Afrodescendant painter Diego Antonio de Landeta (fl. 1749-79), the anthropomorphous Holy Trinity in the Philippines, and women’s material lives (as reflected through notarial records).

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