Featured Artist: MARY E. DOYLE
Mary E. Doyle, Ph.D., is a well-respected scholar in the field of Colonial Latin American History, having received two Fulbrights. Her 1988 doctoral dissertation, entitled “The Ancestor Cult and Burial Ritual in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Central Peru,” continues to be quoted as the premier work on ancestor cults, burial rituals, the formation and functioning of social groups in the Andes, the purpose and use of sacred objects and sacred places, and many other important topics for understanding the indigenous peoples of pre-Hispanic and Colonial Central Peru.
Dr. Doyle went on to obtain a second Master’s degree in Psychology in 2014 with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy. Since then, she has been working full-time as an artist, using acrylic paint on canvas, and pencil and charcoal on her many art projects on paper.
Dr. Doyle initially went to Peru as part of UCLA’s Education Abroad Program in 1978. She attended the Catholic University in Lima for two years because she was having such a successful time in her scholarly pursuits. She worked as a Research Assistant at Peru’s most prestigious Think Tank: The Institute of Peruvian Studies (El Instituto de Estudios Peruanos), on the project entitled “The Extirpation of Idolatry in 17th and 18th Century Central Peru,” in which she worked transcribing and editing the 10,000 pages of documents produced by the friars of the Archbishopric of Lima in an effort to understand and destroy indigenous religious practices. As a result, they left detailed descriptions of all types of religious practices, myths, and rituals. Her dissertation was based on information from these documents.
Dr. Doyle minored in South American Anthropology and Archaeology. She participated in a five-summer archaeological excavation at the Moche site of Pacatnamu on the North Coast of Peru, and she discovered the most important textile ever found for the Moche culture after only a few days of excavating there.
Dr. Mary E. Doyle’s art is influenced by the natural world, as well as by the Peruvian pre-Hispanic cultures of the Moche–North Coast of Peru (200 – 800 A.D.) and the Nazca–South Coast of Peru (100 B.C. – 650 A.D.). The distinctive borders surrounding many of her pieces can be considered her trademark.