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Martín Chambi, Peru’s greatest photographer

Lima museum launches exhibition of the Cusco native regarded as one of Latin America’s finest 20th Century photographers.

The retrospective runs until February and features Chambi’s work documenting daily Andean life, from intensely personal portraits to breathtaking landscapes, including photos never previously shown in public.

The recently renovated Art Museum of Lima (MALI) has inaugurated a comprehensive exhibition of the work of Martín Chambi, the Cusco native whose lifetime of documenting all aspects of Andean life, especially that of traditional rural communities, earned him a reputation as one of Latin America’s greatest and most prolific 20th Century photographers. The show will run until February 21.

Chambi (1891-1973) was a pioneer of “indigenous” photography, meticulously creating a personal archive of thousands of images of locals from all tiers of society from the city of Cusco and the length of Peru’s spectacular mountain ranges. He made a good living as Cusco’s leading portrait photographer, but also had an obsessive interest in the region’s humblest residents and the customs that they maintained four centuries after Europeans first arrived in the Andes. His black and white photography has been widely hailed both for its moving beauty and its historical and ethnographic value.


The exhibition comprises nearly 400 of Chambi’s photos, including studio portraits, self-portraits, views of archaeological sites — including Machu Picchu — and representations of the rapid social changes sweeping Cusco during the early and mid-20th Century as industrialization reached this corner of Peru. It also includes postcards using Chambi’s images, his cameras and documents from his lifetime. Separately, the recently opened Martín Chambi Archive, in Cusco, also receives private visits by prior appointment.


To include a visit to the MALI or arrange a private viewing of Cusco’s Martin Chambi Archive in your unique, individually tailored Peru itinerary, contact the Peru Empire Company at travel@pec.pe or on +51-1-700-5100 or, if you are in the US, 347-713-7030/34.

#Museum #Art #Lima #Culture #History

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