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
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
A Spanish-language gallery guide will be available.