The Project on the Engraved Sources of Spanish Colonial Art (PESSCA) was born of a desire to document the role of prints in the production of Spanish Colonial Art. PESSCA was launched at the University of California at Davis in the Spring of 2005, where it was couched within Almagest, the web-based archive developed at Princeton University. Key to this effort was the technical help of Robert Burnett, Gabriel Unda, Earl Schellhouse, and Kirk Alexander.
Originally, PESSCA consisted of seven correspondences between prints and paintings. Little by little they grew—first to one hundred, then to two, and then to three. At that point the project spawned a site of its own. This would not have been possible without the technical help of Cody Brimhall.
As the number of correspondences grew into the thousands, a major revision of the site —one that allowed more dynamic— became necessary. This was made possible by financial support from the University of California Humanities Research Institute and the technical expertise of Steve McMahon, from Reid-Mcmahon LLC.
Currently, PESSCA has gathered more than 3500 correspondences.
Many people played a role in this process. Jeffrey Ruda offered early and continued advice and encouragement. Daniel Giannoni lent his enthusiastic support and put his massive photographic archive at our disposal. Mr. Luis Ramírez shared digital images of the Espínola print collection. John F. Scott donated his collection of colonial art slides. Father Joseph MacDonnell, SJ, allowed us to use his digitized collection of images from the Evangelicae Historiae Imagines and Dr. James B. Kiracofe gave permission to use the collection of photographs of Colonial Latin American Art in the Inter-American Institute for Advanced Study in Cultural History. Alison Roe offered advice on the graphic design of this site. Thomas Cummins, Ricardo Estabridis, and Marcela Corvera Poiré welcomed PESSCA to their seminars at Harvard University, at the Universidad Mayor de San Marcos, and at the UNAM, respectively. Carolyn Dean, Frank Salomon, Barbara von Barghahan, Concepción García Sáiz, John F. Scott, Luisa Fiocco, Ricardo Estabridis, Luis Eduardo Wuffarden, Ramón Mujica Pinilla, Brunella Scavia, Barbara Mauldin, Jaime Mariazza, Enrique Quispe, Gustavo Tudisco, Olaya Sanfuentes, Luis Martín Bogdanovich, Teresa Gisbert, Andrés de Mesa, Kevin Roddy, Enrique Rodríguez SJ, Erika González León, Pablo Escalante, Francisco Montes González, Suzanne Stratton-Pruitt, Francisco Yábar, César Esponda de la Campa, Eduardo Limón, Alfonso Ortiz Crespo, Susan Webster Verdi, Fray Patricio Villalba OSA, Manuel Cases Jiménez, Peter Stoll, and Martín Zavaleta offered encouragement, advice, images, correspondences, analysis, corrections, or bibliography. The late Celso Pastor opened to PESSCA his excellent collection of Spanish Colonial Art. And so did Aldo Barbosa-Stern, who quickly became a friend and an active supporter of the project.
In the winter of 2008 PESSCA developed a second home at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) thanks to the support of Marco Curatola, Krzysztof Makowski, Cécile Michaud, Elio Vélez, and Pepi Patrón. A year later, it inspired a major art exhibit at the Centro Cultural of this university. The continued support from this institution via Susana Reisz is much appreciated. In 2016, a full mirror site of PESSCA was installed in the servers of the PUCP with the help of Steve McMahon, Luis Maguiña, and Shehzad Lokhandwalla.
Currently, PESSCA is being developed by Almerindo Ojeda with technical support by Reid-McMahon, LLC (Davis). Major contributions to our archive have been made by Denise Beck Garreaud, Aldo Barbosa Stern and Solange Garreaud de Beck (Lima), Marcela Corvera Poiré (Ciudad de México), Agustina Rodríguez Romero (Buenos Aires), Gustavo Adolfo Vives Mejía (Medellín), Eduardo Limón Rodríguez (Puebla), and Aaron Hyman (Berkeley).
All contributions to PESSCA, be they scholarly or financial, will be fully and promptly acknowledged. Our contact information is given below.
Almerindo E. Ojeda, Director
Project for the Engraved Sources of Spanish Colonial Art (PESSCA)
264 Kerr Hall
University of California
Davis, CA 95616