Aaron M. Hyman is a historian of the art of the Spanish Empire, with a focus on the long seventeenth century in colonial Latin America and the Southern Netherlands. His interests include paradigms of artistic authorship and collaboration, the transmission and circulation of objects, and early modern print culture. Though his primary aim is to situate works of art within the historical conditions of their making and viewing, he is equally interested in the historiographic conditions that have limited art historical understanding or obscured and excluded objects from the historical record. His work often draws on post-colonial and literary theory to expand or complicate the boundaries of traditional art historical scholarship.
Much of Hyman’s scholarship participates in art history’s recent global reorientation. He is currently at work on his first book, which treats the ways New World artists used European prints within their artistic practices during the colonial period. This book will represent the first monographic treatment of the scores of Latin American objects derived from European prints, a key topic in colonial Latin American art history and one with theoretical ramifications within an increasingly globalized field of art historical inquiry. The project focuses on works of art in both Mexico and Peru made after prints by Peter Paul Rubens, an artist who has come to define the art historical standards of early modern authorship, and who thus serves as a lens through which to understand the wide range of artists who reconstituted his printed compositions in oil and stone across the Americas.
Other current research projects include studies of Habsburg craft practices at Vienna’s Schloss Schönbrunn, loss (both literal and conceptual) in colonial Latin America, print circulation and copying in Northern Europe, and the place of materiality in current art historical practice.
Hyman received his PhD in art history from the University of California, Berkeley and his MA from Yale University. He has held fellowships from the Jacob K. Javits Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, the UC-MEXUS Institute, the Belgian American Educational Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was also a Mellon Fellow in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School (University of Virginia), and a founding member of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography.