Apr 04 2013

Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: A CLAS and Frist Collaboration

Published by chelsea at 10:18 pm under Newsletter,Spring 2013 Newsletter

CLAS has partnered with Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts to organize lectures, gallery talks, teacher workshops, and a dinner in conjunction with the exhibit Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection. The exhibit opens at the Frist on March 1 and will be on display until June 23, 2013. The Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery will display pieces from its pre-Columbian collection in the two large cases in the main atrium of Cohen Hall for the duration of the exhibit.

The exhibit features 125 pre-Columbian artworks representing more than 2,500 years of creativity in Mexico, Central America, and Andean South America from 1200 BCE to 1520 CE. The collection highlights fundamental principles of ancient American societies, including the shamanic foundation of rulership in Mesoamerica, Costa Rica, and Panama, and the cosmic principles embodied by gold and silver in Colombia. Other artworks, from elaborate musical instruments to portrayals of dancers, highlight the performative nature of politics and religion as a key to social, political, and ideological beliefs. Featured works include Mother and Child (100 BCE–200 CE), Human Effigy Pendant (400–1500 CE), and Llama Effigy (1000–1470 CE).

Area teachers will have the opportunity to attend two professional development workshops organized by CLAS and the Frist on the exhibit and led by Annabeth Headrick, associate professor of art history at the University of Denver.  On March 26, staff from CLAS and the Frist will lead a virtual class for the Educational Media Program at MTSU for local high school students.

Arthur Demarest (Department of Anthropology) will give a public lecture, “The Mysteries of the Ancient Maya Civilization and the Apogee of Art in the Americas,” on Thursday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Frist. Annabeth Headrick, associate professor of art history at University of Denver will give another public talk on April 11: “Dressing the Part: Ritual Costume in the Mesoamerican World,” also at 6:30 p.m. at the Frist. John Janusek (Department of Anthropology) and Iyaxel Cojtí (Department of Anthropology) will lead gallery talks as part of the Frist’s Connecting Disciplines series on Saturday, March 16, and Saturday, April 20.

In addition, CLAS and the Frist have planned a ticketed dinner, “Exploring the Food of the Ancient Americas: Five-Course Tasting Menu” on March 20. Dinner guests will be treated to a private viewing of the exhibition accompanied by a talk by CLAS Director Ted Fischer, a five-course tasting menu based on ancient American foods, and a talk by Mareike Sattler (Department of Anthropology) on the historical and social significance of the foods and drinks in each course.

All lectures and workshops will be held at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 919 Broadway, Nashville, TN, 37203. More information on the events can be found at fristcenter.org or vanderbilt.edu/clas.

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