Art of Sky, Art of Earth: Maya Cosmic Imagery, a new permanent exhibit, will open Sept. 1 at Wake Forest University’s Museum of Anthropology. Curated by museum director Stephen Whittington, in collaboration with the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y., the exhibit focuses on St. Bonaventure’s collection of ancient pottery from the Maya civilization dating from A.D. 250 through 900, commonly called the Classic period. The Maya culture flourished in what are now areas of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and western El Salvador.
“The exhibit centers on a collection of objects from western New York state unknown to Maya scholars before I started working with it,” Whittington said. “As an archaeologist and student of Maya civilization, my goals were to make the collection known to other Mayanists and also to provide students and the general public with an introduction to Maya beliefs about the structure of the universe through an engaging exhibit.”
Grants from Wake Forest allowed Whittington to have the collection professionally conserved, photographed and published on the Maya Vase Database, an important resource for international scholars studying Maya iconography on ceramics. The Mary Reynolds Babcock Cultural Improvement Fund and the J.C. Tise Fund of the Winston-Salem Foundation supported installation of the exhibit at Wake Forest University.
The collection is supplemented by additional artifacts on loan from the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, as well as contemporary Maya objects from the museum’s own collection and images of ancient murals on loan from the Bonampak Documentation Project at Yale University.
The Museum of Anthropology is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and admission is free.
For more information, call (336) 758-5282, e-mail email@example.com or visit the museum Web site at www.wfu.edu/moa.