Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Free tickets: Frist Center opens Central American, South American, Mexican art exposition this Friday, March 1

Clockwise, from upper left:
Burial Urn, K’iché Maya, Southern Highlands, Guatemala
Effigy Bottle, Recuay, Northern Highlands, Peru
Human Effigy Pendant, Diquís, Costa Rica
Howling Dog Effigy, Jalisco, Mexico
Seated Figure, Colima, Mexico,
All photos © The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
More than 100 pieces of Ancient Central American, Andean South American, and Mexican art - from 1200 B.C. through the beginning of the Spanish conquest - will be on display in Nashville starting this Friday, March 1.  The exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is called "Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection" and runs through June 23.  Various related programs are listed below, including an authentic five-course dinner on March 20 (RSVP by March 1) with foods and drinks selected for their relationship to the exhibit.

HispanicNashville.com readers can attend opening weekend, March 1-3, for FREE by printing a Hispanic Nashville Affinity Days coupon (click here) and bringing it to the exhibition.

The religious, political and social beliefs of the Olmec, Aztec, Maya and Inka civilizations, among many others, are revealed through the various utilitarian and decorative vessels, sculptures, metal works and jewelry on display in this exhibition. The pieces serve as illustrations of these societies’ fundamental principles such as the shamanic foundation of rulership in Mesoamerica, Costa Rica and Panama, as well as the cosmic principles embodied by gold and silver in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
"Artists of these ancient cultures expressed each society’s individual characteristics through their unique monumental architecture and artful renderings of human figures, spiritual beings and deities. They also created works detailing aspects of daily life, such as dogs, llamas and other animals fashioned from clay and precious metals." -Frist Center Curator Katie Delmez 
All of the works in the exhibition come from the collection of John Bourne, which he generously gifted to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. After a trip to the jungles of southern Mexico in 1945, Bourne, along with another explorer and photographer, became the first non-Maya to see the ruins of Bonampak, the now famous Mayan site celebrated for its royal building whose interior walls are covered with historically and politically significant murals. Enamored of the creative expressiveness of the peoples of the ancient Americas, Bourne began collecting art from this region and time period.
"At this time in the 1950s, Bourne was one of only a few—which included the Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo—who recognized pre-Columbian artifacts as fine art. Art of the Ancient Americas is as much about the cultural expression of these inimitable cultures as it is John Bourne’s lifelong love of collecting works from these regions." -Frist Center Curator Katie Delmez 
There are a number of related programs starting Friday, including 

  • Curator’s Perspective: “Power and Prestige: The John Bourne Collection” Fri, Mar 1, 2013

  • Curator’s Tour: Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas Thu, Mar 14, 2013

  • Connecting Disciplines: “An Archaeologist’s Perspective”Sat, Mar 16, 2013

  • Exploring the Food of the Ancient Americas Wed, Mar 20, 2013

  • Lecture: “The Mysteries of the Ancient Maya Civilization and the Apogee of Art in the Americas” Thu, Mar 28, 2013

  • Educator Workshop: Exploring Art of the Ancient AmericasThu, Apr 11, 2013

  • Lecture: “Dressing the Part: Ritual Costume in the Mesoamerican World” Thu, Apr 11, 2013

  • Connecting Disciplines: “Writing and Iconography as a Window into the Past” Sat, Apr 20, 2013

  • FREE Family Festival Day Sun, Apr 21, 2013

  • ARTini: Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas Fri, Apr 26, 2013

  • The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville. Gallery admission is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members, $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors, military and college students with ID. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5–9 p.m. Hours, group discounts, and additional information available by calling 615.244.3340 or by visiting  fristcenter.org 

    Spanish-language gallery guide will be available.

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