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This article appeared in the Austin American-Statesman on June 4, 1996.

Tesoros Owner Preserves Crafts of Latin America

By Joel Weinstein
Special to the American-Statesman

Jonathan Williams' store resembles a well-indulged youngster's heaping toy chest. The folk art he's crammed into his shelves and display cases at Tesoros Trading Company is hallucinatory: everything from beer-can reliquaries made in Mexico to sequined Haitian voodoo flags, Nepalese whirligig caps, complete tiny Brazilian marching bands and a fetching array of Virgin of Guadalupe mousepads.

Although Williams' manner is diffident and soft-spoken, his enthusiasms are as keen as those of the neighbor you might have known as a kid who owned a humongous Gilbert chemistry set and delighted in manufacturing flashy, possibly explosive fireworks.

In Williams' case, however, the memorable moments of his youth were the visits to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where his parents would let him loose for the afternoon, or seeing an archaeological site for the first time as a college student.



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