For nearly 300 years (1542-1824), the Viceroyalty of Perú was an integral part of the extensive Spanish Empire in the Americas. The Spaniards had taken over the Inca Empire that had ruled those lands for generations and had established a complex civilization. By taking the Inca Empire, its riches and lands, the descendants of these conquistadors developed a new society characterized by the diversity of communities where they lived, with the indigenous peoples placed at a disadvantage. As a stratified society, the white noble class was at the top of the social pyramid, including the family of the V Conde de Montemar, which had vast interests throughout the territory. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign holds a unique and sizable collection of letters that belonged to this family; this exhibit will showcase a fraction of its content, alongside other equally rare and fascinating material from the University of Illinois collections.
This exhibit was curated by Ana D. Rodríguez and Dr. Antonio Sotomayor, who will give remarks during our opening reception on Friday, September 16th, 2022, at 3:00 pm.