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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.Scholars from Europe and the United States tended to emphasize the similarities across national and regional boundaries in Latin America.During World War II, numerous European scholars fled fascist oppression by exiling themselves to Latin America.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.
Increasingly, however, reciprocal influences could be felt from both groups as more cultural and ethnic mixing came to define the region.
Latin Americans themselves still tend to emphasize their national traditions, with a few exceptions.
By the late 20th century, as the realm of contemporary art became increasingly global, Latin American art entered the mainstream of international art criticism, and its artists were widely recognized, whether they lived as expatriates in New York City or Paris or exhibited in the cultural capitals of their homelands.
The writers generally did not possess a great knowledge of the history of art, but they often brought the knowledge of having lived in Europe and seen the famous monuments that inspired works in various Latin American countries.
Following the secularization of church property in countries such as Mexico, some constructions were not maintained and their contents were looted, making such documentation important.