Although Christopher Columbus was not the first
European to reach the New World, his 1492 journey changed the course of history
for people on both sides of the Atlantic by reuniting cultures that had been
effectively isolated from each other for thousands of years.
Gold,” a mostly riveting exhibition that opens today at the
Museum of Natural History, is the museum’s latest show-and-tell about a
precious natural material. Its predecessors have been devoted to amber,
diamonds and pearls. Taken together, these exhibitions form a genre at which
the museum excels.
Tax squabble may force sale of €25m pre-Colombian
art collection from Dora JanssenGift to Brussels museum is stalled by dispute between
region and state
archeologists and art historians are paying a lot of attention to artifacts that
pre-date Columbus' culture-bridging voyage, and this has created a thriving
business in what's known as pre-Columbian art.
Doug Dawson is Chicago's preeminent dealer of ancient cultural artifacts. His
gallery, Douglas Dawson Ethnographica, specializes in archaeological objects and
historic art, including fine tribal textiles, sculpture, ceramics, and furniture
from Africa, Oceania, Asia, and ancient America. Here he offers a basic
introduction to pre-Columbian art:
Art made before 1492.
Pre-Columbian art is the artistic production of all people of the western
hemisphere before 1492. Pre-Columbian literally means "before
Eight millennia of culture and art.
Some cultures in the Americas had been flourishing for 8,000 years before
Columbus arrived. A civilization can produce quite a lot of art in that
time, making this a very wide category of art.
From rough to refined.
Dawson considers examples of pre-Columbian textiles to be among the most
sensational ever made. Other examples of art range from the dynamic and
aggressive objects of the Aztec Empire to the more highly refined, almost
effete sculpture made by the Maya.
Art of the ruling class.
Objects once owned by commoners can be both valuable and archeologically
significant. According to Dawson, however, serious collectors are most
interested in pre-Columbian art that is associated with the ruling elite.
A pricey market.
The bulk of the market in pre-Columbian art, says Dawson, falls in the
$5,000 to $50,000 range. Interested collectors can buy pieces from auction
houses and from dealers who specialize in pre-Columbian art.
The Wayeb Notes are intended to provide scholars with a platform for fast and
uncomplicated dissemination of research results from all subdisciplines of Maya
Studies. The website has also a list with European museums or institutions who
art objects in their permanent collection.