Archive - October 18, 2020

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Latest book by Martha Egan (Venezuela) — RELICARIOS: THE FORGOTTEN JEWELS OF LATIN AMERICA
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Nixon’s Peace Corps Director, Joe Blatchford, dies

Latest book by Martha Egan (Venezuela) — RELICARIOS: THE FORGOTTEN JEWELS OF LATIN AMERICA

  Relicarios — finely crafted, bi-faced lockets of gold or silver that are artifacts of the Spanish Colonial era. These exquisite jewels containing devotional imagery protected by glass may include paintings on vellum, nacre, alabaster, copper, or ivory; prints; or miniature sculptures of boxwood, ivory, alabaster, or tagua. Although tons of relics were imported from Europe, particularly by Jesuits, in general only high-status individuals wore relicarios containing relics. Relicarios attest to colonists’ dedication to their favorite Virgins and saints as well as fealty to church and crown. As powerful amulets they protected wearers in a precarious world. Relicarios reflects forty years of the Martha’s research, including correspondence and interviews with relicarieros, art historians, curators, collectors, silversmiths, anticuarios, and clergy as well as the author’s collection of several hundred examples. Photos commissioned from leading art photographers in the Americas were mostly unpublished until this handsome volume. • Relicarios: The Forgotten Jewels of Latin America by . . .

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Nixon’s Peace Corps Director, Joe Blatchford, dies

  In Memoriam: Former Peace Corps Director Joseph Blatchford by Steven Boyd Saum (Ukraine 1994-96) • The Peace Corps community mourns the loss of Joseph H. Blatchford, third director of the Peace Corps. He took on that role at a time that heralded, he said, a “new world and a different America from 1961” when the Peace Corps was launched. Joseph Blatchford was appointed to lead the Peace Corps by President Richard Nixon in May 1969 — and he headed the agency during turbulent times of Nixon’s first administration. Tapped for the post at 34 years old, he came with nearly a decade’s experience of organizing international volunteers: In 1961, he had launched the organization Accion to send U.S. volunteers to work in Latin America. Some of the initial luster was already off Peace Corps when Blatchford took on the director’s role. That was true in the U.S. — deeply . . .

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