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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Museum offers new look at ancient pieces

    Museum offers new look at ancient pieces

    The University of Arizona Museum of Art is featuring “”Ritual Beauty: Art of the Ancient Americas.”” On loan from a private collector I. Michael Kasser, the collection contains about 170 objects such as effigy jars, stone sculptures, clay figures, textiles and pieces of metal work. The collection can be described as “”uninfluenced.””

    “”It is Pre-Columbian art from before European contact from Mexico, South America and Central America,”” said Joanne Stuhr , curator of the exhibit.

    The content of the collection makes the exhibit unusual.

    “”It’s reflective of the culture that created it,”” Stuhr said. “”It’s of course free from any kind of European influence.””

    Although the items are displayed as works of art, this is not their intended use.

    “”These are things that were created not as works of art, but as tools in a way,”” Stuhr said. “”The cultures created them to be used in a ritual or a utilitarian setting.””

    The exhibit is a chance to see elite and varied pieces of composition.

    “”It’s a pretty exceptional opportunity to see what is really top quality work,”” Stuhr said. “”There are pieces in ceramic and clay, incredible gold pieces with inlay, and carved stone pieces.””

    Although the contents of the exhibit were created thousands of years ago, they are still relevant to today’s society.

    “”There are things that are interesting, too, because they can be seen in contemporary culture,”” Stuhr said. “”There are nose rings, ear spools that stretch out the ears, there are figures that have been tattooed and have ritual scarring. So it’s interesting to see that the notion of beauty in these cultures has existed for a thousand years or longer.””

    The collection will be accompanied by a panel discussion at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 30. Pre-Columbian scholars Peter Furst, Keith McElroy, Marta Turok and Margaret Young-Sanchez will each share information about their favorite pieces in the collection. The exhibit will remain on display until Feb. 8.

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