California’s twenty-one Spanish-Indian missions, founded between 1769 and 1823, span the length of the state from San Diego de Alcalá in the south to San Francisco Solano in the north. Vastly understudied yet featured in California’s K-12 school curriculum, they are the object of much romantic mythologizing, much of which upholds visions of a Spanish fantasy heritage past.1 The Dialogues in this issue of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture critically examine the current state of this history and propose ways to rethink and decolonize the study of the art and architecture of the California missions. This focus on the California missions in LALVC may seem an unexpected one. How pertinent are California monuments to the study of Latin American or Latinx visual culture? Isn’t this arguably “American” art? Such questions highlight the instability of subfield categories and...

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