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Peruvian Ambassador Brings Exclusive Art Collection to Collin


March 10, 2005 -- The Collin County Community College District (Collin) Honors Institute will host the former Peruvian Ambassador to the Organization of American States Antonio Lulli as its spring 2005 Scholar-in-Residence.

Lulli will offer a public forum at 1 p.m., Thursday, March 24, of his art collection titled “Finding Faith: Folk Art of Peru” at THE ARTS gallery on the Spring Creek Campus, 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano.

His collection will be on exhibit from March 24 through Saturday, April 2, in THE ARTS gallery. The exhibit is hosted by the Honors Institute and the Embassy of Peru.

Born in Lima, Lulli, 83, has been collecting folk art since college. His collection of 30 pieces offers a range of mediums, including paint, clay and fabric. The collages, sculptures and paintings embody in color and detail the intersection of life and religion in mid-20th century Peru. Growing out of an in indigenous artistic legacy influenced by Indian, Incan, and Spanish Colonial traditions, the collection represents the fusion of the sacred and the secular.

“I started very young to collect Peruvian folk art, because I found that it carries things of the past of Peru,” Lulli said. “And then I saw items and drawings that signified, to me, Europe. And so gradually I saw these things would bring my country near Europe and Europe near my country.”

Lulli served as the Peruvian ambassador to the Organization of American States for almost 20 years with his work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 in Paris. 

Most recently pieces of religious folk art from Lulli's personal collection were on view in New York City.

Writing in the New York Times’ Critic’s Notebook, Holland Cotter explains that the collection defines high and low culture in terms of Old World and New World. Cotter characterizes the work as 20th-century in date and devotional in content and function.

“Whether in the form of tabletop altars known as ‘retablos’ or carved holy figures called ‘santos,’ it bears strong evidence of a High Renaissance or Baroque aesthetic transplanted from Spain to the Viceroyalty of Peru beginning in the 16th century,” Cotter said. 

Hours for THE ARTS gallery are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

For more information, call the Honors Institute at 972.881.5120 or THE ARTS gallery at 972.881.5873.

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