Art & Art History

Patrick Hajovsky

Assistant Professor of Art History

Areas of expertise

Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin America

Hajovsky's specialty spans pre-Columbian and colonial cultures of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru, and ranges from Aztec sculpture to Spanish painting. He teaches surveys in pre-Columbian art of Mesoamerica and the Andes, and a comparative examination of the Aztec and Inca empires. As well, Hajovsky teaches courses in three media studies of the colonial Spanish Americas: manuscripts, painting, and architecture and spatial planning. His courses are cross-listed with Latin American Studies, International Studies, and Environmental Studies.


Ph.D., University of Chicago 2007


Newsletter Editor and Webmaster
Association for Latin American Art
January 01, 2011 - present

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is a constant process of giving new ideas to students while equipping them with the necessary skills to communicate effectively about art and its history. Courses in pre-Columbian and colonial Latin American art concentrate on ways to appreciate ancient and foreign objects according to modern aesthetic values, and, more importantly, how to situate these values in the various contexts of museums, collection practices, archaeological data, and the global market. I use two complementary and interdependent methods of class discussions and writing assignments to develop different strategies of looking and describing, while encouraging the development of knowledge about cultural practices in order to inform contextual and relevant interpretations.

Courses: Summer 2014

Art of Mesoamerica

Previous Courses

Art of Mesoamerica; Art of the Andes; Aztec & Inca Imperial Arts; Native Books, Images & Objects; Latin American Cities & Frontiers; Painting a New World; Art of Spain, 711-1700


Hajovsky's first publication, "André Thevet's 'true' portrait of Moctezuma and its European legacy" (2009) explores European prints of Moctezuma from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, and shows how truth was constituted in European portraiture and how it was contested across political divides. He contributed to the British Museum exhibition catalog Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler (2009), and is advancing research into posthumous, colonial-period portraits of Moctezuma and their relationship to Baroque theater in New Spain and in Europe.

He is author of "Without a Face: Voicing Moctezuma II's Image at Chapultepec Park, Mexico City", which explores the construction of the antique image of Moctezuma and its transformations by various colonial authors. For more, see

A forthcoming article, "Chasing Nezahualcoyotl's Portrait", reexamines how Aztec portraits may conjure up religious notions that were mistrusted by Spanish friars, and how the indigenous author Alva Ixtlilxochitl mediated between the religious and hieroglyphic messages of his ancestor's portraits.

His book, On the Lips of Others: Moctezuma's Fame in Aztec Monuments and Rituals, is due to be released in Spring 2014. In it, Hajovsky explores the politics of Moctezuma's fame through hieroglyphic inscriptions, portraiture, and ritual behavior in and around the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, to show how the king's presence operated in a duality of sound and image to convey his role as Great Speaker, the Aztec title analogous to 'king'.

Hajovsky is completing a monograph project that examines the patronage of miraculous images in Cuzco, Peru, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. During this time, the popularity of Our Lady of the Remedies waxed and waned before and after the great earthquake of 1650, while another miraculous image known as Our Lord of the Earthquakes eventually shadowed her renown. Hajovsky posits that through civic rituals, especially Corpus Christi, indigenous cofradias (brotherhoods) shaped and transformed the social memory of this patriarch.


"Without a Face: Voicing Moctezuma II's Image at Chapultepec Park, Mexico City." In Seeing Across Cultures in the Early Modern World, edited by Jeanette Peterson and Dana Leibsohn. Ashgate Press (in press, 2012).

"Portrait(s) of Moctezuma." In Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler. London: British Museum Press, 2009. Catalog numbers 126, 127, 129, 130, 131.

"André Thevet's 'True' Portrait of Moctezuma and its European Legacy," in Word & Image 25:4 (2009), 335-52.

Groups & Affiliations

College Art Association

Association for Latin American Art

Renaissance Society of America

American Society for Ethnohistory