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Pablo Miguel Sierra Silva

was the renowned architect and leader of the Rosary confraternity (Catholic brotherhood, often organized along caste or ethnic lines) of Valladolid (modern-day Morelia, Mexico). Durán, alias Diego Joaquín Martínez Loera Durán, was born to an Afro-indigenous family that had already achieved some notoriety as his maternal grandfather Lucas Durán had worked as an architect on the Valladolid cathedral along with Francisco Antonio Roa. Diego Durán’s maternal uncle Juan Nepomuceno Durán continued the family’s specialization in architecture, working as a builder and, by 1734, as a “master of architecture.”

Durán s mother was María Nicolasa Durán an indigenous citizen of Valladolid and Esteban Martínez de Loera a free mulatto from Pénjamo At the time Valladolid was the most important urban center of the vast territory formerly controlled by the P urhépecha indigenous group of western Mexico The city s residents maintained a number of sugarcane plantations that employed numerous workers ...


Amy J. Buono

was born in 1677 and lived and worked in Recife, capital of the northeastern captaincy of Pernambuco, Brazil. The locations of Jacomé’s birth and death are unknown, as is his parentage; the oldest archival record to have emerged is his marriage to Páscoa Moreira in 1701 (Menezes, 2010, p. 389). Records from the period alternatively refer to him as “mulato” and “Portuguese,” and scholar José Neilton Pereira (2009) has attributed his surname to Italian ancestry. Historians consider Jacomé (sometimes spelled Jácome) as one of Pernambuco’s most important eighteenth-century architects. The so-called Pernambucan Baroque period of architecture, in which Jacomé worked, was characterized by the great contributions made by Afro-Brazilian artisans.

Jacomé trained under the Portuguese master mason and architect Antônio Fernandes Matos (1640–1701 one of the most significant figures to shape the urban space of seventeenth century Recife According to Pereira Jacomé acquired a ...


John S. Lupold

bridge designer and builder, was born near Cheraw, South Carolina, the son of Edmund and Susan King, slaves of African, European, and American Indian ancestry. King, his mother, his sister Clarissa (Murray), and his brother Washington were purchased circa 1830 by John Godwin and his wife, Ann Wright Godwin. According to some accounts, King may have been related to Ann's family, the Wrights of Marlboro County, South Carolina. King was already a master carpenter by the time Godwin purchased him, and Godwin expanded King's skills by teaching him how to build bridges. King was literate, although he never attended Oberlin College, as was incorrectly told in family myth.

The Godwins and their slaves moved west in 1832 when Godwin won a contract from Columbus Georgia to construct a four hundred foot wooden bridge across the Chattahoochee River They settled in Girard now Phenix City at the ...


Antônio Francisco Lisboa, better known by his nickname “Aleijadinho” (the Little Cripple), was born in Villa Rica do Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil, where he later distinguished himself as an artist during the baroque and rococo artistic periods. The Minas Gerais variant of the baroque and rococo styles is distinct; unlike the coastal states of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, whose frequent contact with Portugal kept the art and architecture of those provinces in tune with European artistic developments, Minas Gerias's location in the interior largely insulated it from European influences. Minas Gerais was also a more recently settled province, and it had few convents or monasteries of the regular orders, which would have otherwise encouraged the duplication of European architectural designs.

During the colonial era in Latin America the church was the center of social life and the principal patron of the arts Virtually all of Aleijadinho ...


Mauricio Meléndez Obando

was born in Santiago de Guatemala, on 19 November 1677 and baptized in the parish church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios on 26 December that same year Santiago de Guatemala was an early Spanish community founded in the Panchoy Valley in the vicinity of present day Antigua Guatemala His parents were José de Porres also an architect and Teresa Ventura known as Teresa de Vargas Zapata y Luján An Afro mestizo Diego is listed as a mulatto free mulatto or mestizo His paternal grandparents were Pascuala de la Concepción an Afro mestiza and Juan de Porres Godínez de Porres a Spaniard His maternal grandparents were Dionisia Ventura de la Cruz a mestiza and possibly a Spanish gentleman with the surnames Vargas Zapata y Luján Thus thanks to his grandfathers the architect Porres was a member of families of great economic and political power in the Guatemalan society of ...