Built in the late sixteenth century, the main retablo of the Church of Santo Domingo in Yanhuitlán is constructed of gilded and painted wood, and contains a number of sculptures and panel paintings. Unfortunately, this important colonial altarpiece, which stands nearly sixty-five feet high, suffered serious damage over the years, mainly as the result of the region's seismic activity.

During the late 1990s, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia of Mexico, and the community of Yanhuitlán, worked together on a project that produced extensive documentation and structural analysis of the altarpiece—expanding our understanding of the architecture, materials, and construction methods of colonial retablos in Mexico. The project included the involvement of Yanhuitlán community members who will be responsible for the long-term maintenance and security of all the retablos in the church.

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Descamps, Françoise, and Jennifer Carballo, eds. Methodology for the Conservation of Polychromed Wooden Altarpieces. Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Cultura and the J. Paul Getty Trust, 2006. (PDF, 241pp., 7.2MB)

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Descamps, Françoise, and Jennifer Carballo, eds. Methodología para la Conservación de Retablos de Madera Policromada. Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Cultura and the J. Paul Getty Trust, 2006. (Spanish version of the above) (PDF, 242pp., 7.6MB)

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The Getty Conservation Institute and Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Cultura, eds. "Methodology for the Conservation of Polychromed Wooden Altarpieces: Bibliography/Methodología para la Conservación de Retablos de Madera Policromada: Corpus Bibliográfico." Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Cultura and the J. Paul Getty Trust, 2006. (With introductions in Spanish and English.) (PDF, 51pp., 216KB)

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Gonzáles López, María José, and Françoise Descamps, eds., Workshop on Methodology for the Conservation of Polychromed Wooden Altarpieces: Document on Retablos 2002. The Getty Conservation Institute and Junta Andalucía Conserjería de Cultura, 2004. (PDF, 17 pp., 502KB)

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Gonzáles López, María José, and Françoise Descamps, eds., Taller sobre Metodología para la Conservación de Retablos de Madera Policromada: El Documento de Retablos 2002. The Getty Conservation Institute and Junta Andalucía Conserjería de Cultura, 2004. (Spanish version of the above) (PDF, 17 pp., 508KB)

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Gonzáles López, María José, and Françoise Descamps, eds., Journées d'Étude sur la Méthodologie pour la Conservation des Retables en Bois Polychromes: Document des Retables 2002. The Getty Conservation Institute and Junta Andalucía Conserjería de Cultura, 2004. (French version of the above) (PDF, 17 pp., 513KB)

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