Charlene Villaseñor Black

Charlene Villaseñor Black

Chair & Professor
Core Faculty

Office: Dodd Hall 200D


Phone: (310) 267-4816


Charlene Villaseñor Black, whose research focuses on the art of the Ibero-American world, is Professor of Art History and Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. Winner of the 2016 Gold Shield Faculty Prize and author of the prize-winning and widely-reviewed 2006 book, Creating the Cult of St. Joseph: Art and Gender in the Spanish Empire, she is finishing her second monograph, Transforming Saints: Women, Art, and Conversion in Mexico and Spain, 1521-1800. Her edited book, Chicana/o Art: Tradition and Transformation, was released in February 2015. She is co-editor of a special edition of The Journal of Interdisciplinary History entitled Trade Networks and Materiality: Art in the Age of Global Encounters, 1492-1800, with Dr. Maite Álvarez of the J. Paul Getty Museum; and editor of a forthcoming issue of Aztlán focused on teaching Chicana/o and Latina/o art history. She has held grants from the Getty, ACLS, Fulbright, Mellon, Woodrow Wilson Foundations and the NEH. While much of her research investigates the politics of religious art and global exchange, Villaseñor Black is also actively engaged in the Chicana/o art scene. Her upbringing as a working class, Catholic Chicana/o from Arizona forged her identity as a border-crossing early modernist and inspirational teacher.

Selected Publications

  • Editor and author of Preface and Introduction; Shifra M. Goldman, Tradition and Transformation: Chicana/o Art from the 1970s to the 1990, Chicano Studies Research Center/University of Washington Press, February 2015.
  • Co-editor and co-author of Introduction with Maite Álvarez, Trade Networks and Materiality: Art in the Age of Global Encounters, 1492-1800, special edition, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, February 2015.
  • Editor of Dossier, Teaching Chicana/o and Latina/o Art History in the Twenty-first Century; author, “Introduction: Teaching Chicana/o and Latina/o Art History in the Twenty-first Century: P’adelante, P’atrás;” co-author with Alicia Gaspar de Alba, “Protest and Praxis in the Arts;” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, February 2015.
  • Co-author with Maite Álvarez, “Diego Rivera’s California Miners Sketchbook (1931): New Research on the Artist in California during the Great Depression,” Getty Research Journal, February 2015.
  • “Race and the Historiography of Colonial Art,” Representations of ‘Race’ in Iberia and the Ibero-American World, ed. Pamela Patto, Brill, anticipated summer 2015.
    “Paintings of the Education of the Virgin Mary and the Lives of Girls in Early Modern Spain,” The Formation of the Child in Early Modern Spain, ed. Grace Coolidge (Ashgate, 2014), 93-119.
  • “Inquisitorial Practices Past and Present: Artistic Censorship, the Virgin Mary, and St. Anne,” in Virginia Raguin, ed., Art, Piety, and Destruction in the Christian West, 1500-1700 (Ashgate, 2010), 173-200.
  • “Pacheco, Velázquez, and the Legacy of Leonardo in Spain,” Claire Farago ed., The Historical Reception of Leonardo da Vinci’s Treatise on Painting: Art as Institution, (Ashgate, 2009), 412-431.
  • Creating the Cult of St. Joseph: Art and Gender in the Spanish Empire, Princeton University Press, 2006.
  • “Love and Marriage in the Spanish Empire: Depictions of Holy Matrimony and Gender
  • Discourses in the Seventeenth Century,” The Sixteenth Century Journal: The Journal of Early Modern Studies, XXXII, 2001, 637-667.


  • Art of Golden Age Spain
  • Colonial Latin American Art and Architecture
  • Baroque Art and Architecture
  • Mexico in the Modern Age
  • Chicana/o Art
  • Theories and Practices of the Global Hispanic Baroque
  • Trade Networks and Materiality: Art in the Age of Global Encounters (co-taught with Dr. Maite Alvarez, Getty)
  • New Approaches to Religious Art in Spain and the Americas
  • Art and Activism in Latin America
  • Protest and Praxis in Mexican and Chicana/o Art (co-taught with Prof. Alicia Gaspar de Alba, UCLA)