Areas of Expertise

Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin America


Patrick Hajovsky researches pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica and the Andes as well as the Spanish colonial Viceroyalties of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. He teaches courses in the Arts of Mesoamerica and the ancient Andes, indigenous manuscripts and literacy, colonial Latin America, and Medieval and Golden Age Spain.


Ph.D., University of Chicago 2007


Newsletter Editor and Webmaster
Association for Latin American Art
January 01, 2011 - December 31, 2016

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is a process of immersing students in new ideas while equipping them with the necessary skills to communicate effectively about art and its history. My courses in pre-Columbian and colonial Latin American art not only provide a broad appreciation for art, but they also teach how to appreciate ancient and foreign objects according to their own aesthetic values, and, more importantly, how to relate these values to modern contexts. Class activities range from lectures and discussions about texts and images that develop ways of looking at different cultural practices, to writing assignments that develop strategies of describing context and providing relevant interpretations.

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 researches on the intersections of Aztec ritual spaces, verbal metaphors, and materialism, especially as interpreted through sculptural iconography and transformed in colonial-period texts and images. His recent work focuses on Moteuczoma, the last Aztec sovereign, including the king’s representation and reputation as Great Speaker in Aztec monuments and rituals, and their transformation under Spanish colonialsm.

His first publication, “Andre 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. Download article here. 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. See Newstory here. Download article here.

His first book, On the Lips of Others: Moteuczoma’s Fame in Aztec Monuments and Rituals, will be published by University of Texas Press in June 2015. In it, Hajovsky explores the politics of Moteuczoma’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’. Copy available from UTP.

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.

Current and future projects include studies in Aztec luxury and sacrifice, Baroque representations of Moteuczoma, Aztec style and chronology, and a comparative hermeneutics of Aztec and Inca aesthetics.

Professional Work

Editorial Board member for Oxford Art Online and Grove Encyclopedia of Latin American Art and Architecture


On the Lips of Others: Moteuczoma’s Fame in Aztec Monuments and Rituals. Austin: University of Texas Press (forthcoming, June 2015).

“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.

“Andre Thevet’s ‘True’ Portrait of Moctezuma and its European Legacy,” in Word & Image 25:4 (2009), 335-52.


College Art Association

Association for Latin American Art

Latin American Studies Association

Renaissance Society of America

American Society for Ethnohistory