Historiography and Museography in the Colonial Museum of Bogotá (1999-2012)
Roldan, Daniel García
The Colonial Museum of Bogotá was recently closed due to a series of works of restoration in the building and a complete renewal of its curatorship. This fact invites us to look over the work that has been done before, articularly because during the last decade this institution became a research center where historians, conservators, and artists worked together. When one went through each of the exhibition rooms that were opened to the public between 2005 and 2012, it was evident how different historiographical perspectives had influenced the way in which the art works were classified and exhibited. The diverse points of view of Colombian historians to colonial art and culture during the last ten years have determined changes in the curatorial processes that one should examine in order to better understand the historiographical perspectives that were dominant during those years. Not only could we take a journey from iconography to anthropology, but we could also see the tensions between social history, cultural history, and postcolonial studies that have taken place in the museum. This produces an interesting phenomenon: the exhibition space was transformed into a thinking space. With this in mind, the following article has two main purposes: First, to present different historiographical approaches and their influence on Museography during those years; and second, to explain how curatorship has become a medium to criticize different discourses around both colonial art and culture in Colombia.