Photograph of Christine Carey.


Christine Montaño Carey

Spanish Colonial Art, Tin Art, Retablo Art, Commercial Art, Fine Art


By Christine Montaño Carey

It has been established that tinwork, though initially thought to have been produced throughout the southwestern states, was strictly a New Mexican craft. In the mid-nineteenth century, the prototypes for decorative tinwork came mostly from Mexico via the Chihuahua Trail. Tin cans, wall paper and glass became available when the trade routes from the east opened up the Old Santa Fe Trail. These early materials such as tin cans came with the military originally. Tin was used primarily when no other metals were available, due to it's ease with which to cut and shape it. Some of the main uses for tin were for candle sconces, candelabras, frames for religious art and other images, mirrors and utensils such as spoons, forks, plates and cups etc. It was also used to embellish other santero art forms such as bultos.

Beautiful religious images are still on display in museums and private collections, that were painted on tin panels. These were mostly used to decorate churches as well as, for those who could afford them in homes. Most of these painted tin pieces came from Mexico. Some of the early New Mexican tinsmiths embellished their work with paint, mostly red or green enamel which was all they had available at the time. This was known as the Valencia Red and Green or the Rio Arriba Painted Workshop.

The techniques and designs for tin are still being implemented today by this artist and other Spanish Market artists.

Christine Montaño Cary Selected Tin Art
Click on image for larger view

Rin Art Lady of Guadalupe relief in tin.
Lady of Guadalupe relief in tin
Tin Art San Pasqual kitchen wreath.
San Pasqual kitchen wreath
Tin art Nativity scene tin relief.
Nativity tin relief
Tin Art Last Supper scene tin relief.
Last Supper
tin relief
Tin Art Treasure Box, Reverse Painting on glass.
Treasure Box, Reverse painting on glass
Tin Art Hapsburg Double Eagle Sconce.
Hapsburg Double Eagle Sconce
Tin Art Last Supper scene tin relief.
Last Supper
tin relief
Tin Art Corn Ristra.
Corn Ristra
Tin Art, Saint Viviana Retablo set in tin frame.
St. Viviana Retablo
in tin frame
Tin Art, Our Lady of Guadalupe reverse painting on glass and retablo.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
reverse painting on glass & retablo
Tin Art, San Pasqual set in tin kitchen wreath.
San Pasqual Kitchen Wreath
Tin Art, Sacred Heart Cross, reverse painting on glass.
Sacred Heart Cross, reverse painting on glass


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