Leandro Katz The Castle [Chichén Itzá] 1985

  • Not on view

In the 1830s, John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood were the first English-speaking explorers to study the Mayan regions in what is now Southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. Catherwood’s detailed lithographs, published in two popular books, made the sites famous in the Western world. Argentine artist Leandro Katz began traveling to the Yucatán in 1984 to reconstruct Stephens and Catherwood’s expeditions. Some of his images test the accuracy of Catherwood’s depictions and reveal their romanticism. In others, he recreates Catherwood’s vantage point, and includes his own hand holding the book that is his source material. These images thus feature two representational moments separated by more than a century. And while Katz maintains that “the European eye coins the culture in its own terms,” he also acknowledges “my own manipulation of reality.”

Gallery label from Chosen Memories, April 30–September 9, 2023
Gelatin silver print
20 × 16" (50.8 × 40.6 cm)
Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of May Castleberry
Object number
© 2024 Leandro Katz

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].