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As in Spanish America, Christian missionaries became part of this framework.
Although they laid claim to Brazil for many decades, it was not until the mid-1530s that they became more directly involved, granting , or land grants, to prominent citizens.
These art historians applied European scholarly methods to the body of cultural material they saw and developed a chronology for the region that related Latin American artistic styles to those of Europe.
Many scholars from the United States, blocked at this same time from doing the on-site research in Europe for which they had been trained, also applied their methodology to Latin America.
The arts that were dominant in the pre-Columbian era—including weaving, pottery, metalworking, lapidary, featherwork, and mosaic ( Native American arts)—continued to be practiced unaltered in these areas in the postcolonial era.
These regions were nevertheless indirectly influenced by the arrival of Europeans through the spread of diseases to which the natives had no resistance, the movement of native peoples away from the conquered areas, the spread of new technologies and species of plants and animals, and, finally, the importation of African slaves into those areas depopulated by their aboriginal populations.
At the same time, these artists have often retained many aspects of indigenous traditions.
As Latin America has searched for its own identity, its artists have looked to their past, to their popular culture, to their religion, to their political surroundings, and to their personal imaginations to create a distinct tradition of Latin American art.As Latin American scholars from this period studied their own visual history, they tended to focus on the history of one nation, and they would rarely examine it in relation to other countries.During World War II, numerous European scholars fled fascist oppression by exiling themselves to Latin America.Visual arts production in the region reflected these changes.Latin American artists have often superficially accepted styles from Europe and the United States, modifying them to reflect their local cultures and experiences.At the same time, Latin American artistic centres such as Mexico City developed strong national art scenes with their own established critics, museums, and galleries.