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Latin America and the Caribbean in Photographs at the Library of Congress

Photography Portfolios

In the Prints & Photographs Reading Room, researchers can request photography portfolios that contain fine prints depicting Latin America and the Caribbean. Please note that some portfolios have not yet been fully organized and described. These generally have "unprocessed" in their call number. To access these "unprocessed" portfolios, please submit an online request form at least 14 days in advance to visiting the Prints & Photographs Reading Room.

Los Chapines, Los Magueys, & La Santeria Chapina by Daniel Chauche (Guatemala)

Born in the United States to French and American parents, Chauche (b.1951) lived in Guatemala between 1975 and 1977. He permanently moved to Guatemala in 1983 and opened a photography studio, Sombra y Luz, since renamed Chez Daniel SA. His photography depicts Guatemalan culture and religion. Chauche also made new prints from others’ negatives at the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica in Antigua Guatemala to commemorate the institution’s 30th anniversary.

Beyond the Chalk Pit by John Edward Heaton (Guatemala)

Born in France but also educated in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States, Heaton (b.1951) has traveled the world photographing diverse peoples and cultures. In the mid-1980s, he began living in Guatemala, which he depicts in the first volume of his multi-volume portfolio entitled Beyond the Chalk Pit.

Kohei Yasu, 1844-1917 by Kohei Yasu & Mitchell Denburg (Guatemala)

Born in Fujisawa on the eastern coast of Japan, Kohei Yasu (1844-1917) first visited Latin America in the company of a Japanese diplomatic mission to Mexico. He returned on multiple occasions and ultimately moved to Guatemala in 1877. Going by the name Juan José de Jesús Yas, he opened a studio, Fotografía Japonesa, in 1880; he created portraits and also photographed landscapes and colonial architecture. In 2015, Mitchell Denburg made this new portfolio by printing from Yasu’s glass plate negatives, which the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica preserves in Antigua Guatemala.

Merci Gonaïves by Danny Lyon (Haiti)

New York native Danny Lyon has photographed the African-American civil rights movement, prisons in Texas, and the Chicago Outlaws motorcycle club, among many other things. Between 1983 and 1986, he traveled in Haiti, where he photographed a nationwide protest that began in Gonaïves, a city in northern Haiti, in 1984 and resulted in the collapse of the Duvalier dynasty.

Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexico)

Born in Mexico City, Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002) was encouraged to practice photography by Hugo Brehme (1882-1954) and Tina Modotti (1896-1942). Widely celebrated, his photos span a variety of styles and subjects; however, many pictures depict Mexico’s rural and indigenous culture as the country experienced modernization. Álvarez Bravo mentored Héctor García (1923-2012) and Graciela Iturbide (b.1942). Also see a second portfolio by Álvarez Bravo and the prints in a separate survey, both listed below.

Mirror to Our World by the Chiapas Photography Project (Mexico)

Founded by Mexican-American artist Carlota Duarte in 1992, the Chiapas Photography Project supports Mayan photographers in Mexico; it also helped establish and manage the Archivo Fotográfico Indígena, which preserves and provides access to indigenous photography. Mirror to Our World includes twelve prints by nine Mayan photographers: Xunka’ López Díaz (b.1971), Lucía Sántiz Girón, Domingo Sántiz Gómez, Genaro Sántiz Gómez, Maruch Sántiz Gómez (b.1975), Petul Hernández Guzmán, Juana López López (b.1970), Emiliano Guzmán Meza (b.1972), and Domingo Pérez Sánchez.

Photographs of Mexico by Paul Strand (Mexico)

A former student of documentarian Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940), New York native Paul Strand (1890-1976) lived in Mexico between 1932 and 1934. Sympathetic toward indigenous Mexicans, he photographed Indian communities in the countryside, using a trick lens to get candid shots. Entitled “Photographs of Mexico,” this portfolio was later reissued in 1967 as “The Mexican Portfolio.”

Redes by Paul Strand and Ned Scott (Mexico)

Invited to Mexico by composer Carlos Chávez (1899-1978), American photographer Paul Strand (1890-1976) would play a leading role in creating a film, Los Redes (known as The Wave in the United States), writing the story with input from Chávez’s nephew Agustín Velázquez Chávez. Sponsored by the Secretaría de Educación Pública, the film depicts fishermen uniting against a powerful monopoly. Agustín later printed this portfolio of gravures from the photos taken on set by Strand and still photographer Ned Scott (1907-1964).

Baja California by Brett Weston (Mexico)

Born in Los Angeles, Weston (1911-1993) learned photography while living in Mexico with his father, Edward Weston (1886-1958) and Italian-born photographer Tina Modotti (1896-1942). Acquainted with Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949) and Diego Rivera (1886-1957), Brett Weston admired artists and approached photography as an art. Between 1964 and 1967, he photographed Baja California in northwest Mexico, taking pictures of nature up-close in black and white, creating abstract imagery.

Heightened Perspectives by Marilyn Bridges (Mexico & Peru)

Bridges (b.1948) is an American pilot and photographer who has taken aerial photographs in countries all around the world. She began in southern Peru in 1976, photographing large geoglyphs known as the Nazca Lines. She would also take pictures of Machu Picchu. In 1982, she began photographing Mayan ruins in Mexico.