The Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University will present “Worldviews: Maya Ceramics from the Palmer Collection” from Nov. 8 to Jan. 31.
Curated by Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology Director Stephen L. Whittington, the exhibit contains 35 ceramic objects, nine jade objects and one stone object—some of them internationally known and featured in recent books on the Maya.
William P. Palmer III amassed a large collection of Pre-Columbian objects before his death in 1982. Four years later, the objects became the core collection of the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine. Selected pieces from the Hudson Museum are on loan to Wake Forest through January.
The ceramics and other artifacts in this exhibit, generally produced by Maya scribes and artisans during the Classic period extending from 250 to 900 A.D., contain a wealth of information about Maya ideology.
The ceramics show views of a variety of worlds important to the Maya. On some vessels are the gods, monsters and heroes of the underworld. On others are palace scenes with rulers and their attendants. Some show aspects of the cosmos, integral to the cyclical Maya universe. Plants and animals appear on other ceramics.
Classic Maya civilization existed in southeastern Mexico, the Yucatán Peninsula, Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and western El Salvador. The civilization continued in the highlands of Guatemala and in the northern Yucatán until the arrival of the Spanish in the early 1500s.
The ability to write and read hieroglyphic texts and interpret the symbolism of pictures as found on the ceramics of the Palmer Collection was all but lost soon afterward. Only since the 1950s has significant progress been made in interpreting Maya artifacts. This exhibit interprets symbolism and hieroglyphs in light of recent scholarship.
A number of events have been planned at the museum in conjunction with the exhibit.
A public lecture titled “Pots, Bones, and Dirt: Searching for the Maya Past” will be presented by Whittington on Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
The video “Chiapas, Landscape after the Battle” will be shown on Nov. 23 at 3 p.m.
A public lecture titled “Cooperating for their Lives: Women Weavers in Highland Chiapas” will be presented by Christine Eber, assistant professor of anthropology at New Mexico State University, on Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
The video “Popul Vuh” will be shown on Dec. 7 at 3 p.m.
“Land of the Hero Twins,” a program for children grades 1 –5, will be presented on Jan. 13 at 4:15 p.m. as a part of the Museum of Anthropology’s ongoing after-school program. The cost is $15 per child. Pre-register by Jan. 10 at 336-758-5282.
A public lecture titled “Mesoamerica through a Maya Gaze: Three Thousand Years of Culture and Resistance” will be presented by Jeanne Simonelli, professor of anthropology and chair of the anthropology department, on Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
The video “Beneath the Jaguar Sun: A history of the Maya” will be shown on Jan. 25 at 3 p.m.
“Worldviews” and associated free programs are made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Sponsors at Wake Forest University are the Dean of the College; the office of multicultural affairs; the departments of anthropology, art, history, religion and Romance languages; the Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery; and the Wake Forest Divinity School.
The exhibit and all events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. The museum is located behind Kentner Stadium on the Wake Forest campus. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday. The museum will be closed Nov. 28 – Dec. 1, Dec. 21 – Jan. 1, Jan. 4, and Jan. 11 for holidays. For more information, call 336-758-5282.
Note: Print quality images are available by e-mail. Contact the News Service at 336-758-5237.
“WORLDVIEWS: MAYA CERAMICS FROM THE PALMER COLLECTION” CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Friday, Nov. 8
Friday, Jan. 31 “Worldviews: Maya Ceramics from the Palmer Collection.” The exhibit contains 35 ceramic objects, nine jade objects and one stone object—some of them internationally known and featured in recent books on the Maya. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday. The museum will be closed Nov. 28 – Dec. 1, Dec. 21 – Jan. 1, Jan. 4, and Jan. 11 for holidays.
Wednesday, Nov. 20
7:30 p.m. Wake Forest University Museum of Anthropology Director Stephen L. Whittington will present a lecture on “Pots, Bones, and Dirt: Searching for the Maya Past.” Free admission.
Saturday, Nov. 23
3 p.m. “Chiapas, Landscape after the Battle.” Spanish film with English subtitles describes the aftermath of conflicts during the 1990s between the government of Mexico and the Zapatistas of Chiapas. Free admission.
Monday, Dec. 2
7:30 p.m. Christine Eber, assistant professor of anthropology at New Mexico State University, will present a lecture on “Cooperating for their Lives: Women Weavers in Highland Chiapas.” Free admission.
Saturday, Dec. 7
3 p.m. “Popul Vuh.” Animated video presents the story of the creation of the Maya universe and the conflict between the
Hero Twins and the underworld gods. Free admission.
Monday, Jan. 13
4:15 p.m. “Land of the Hero Twins,” a program for children grades 1 – 5. Includes a learning activity and a craft. Part of the museum’s after school program. $15 per child. Pre-register by Jan. 13 at 336-758-5282.
Wednesday, Jan. 22
7:30 p.m. Wake Forest University Department of Anthropology Chair Jeanne Simonelli will present a lecture on “Mesoamerica through a Maya Gaze: Three Thousand Years of Culture and Resistance.” Free admission.
Saturday, Jan. 25
3 p.m. “Beneath the Jaguar Sun: A History of the Maya.” This video describes archeological discoveries, advances in translating hieroglyphs, and interpretations of images in art that have led to a fuller understanding of Maya history. Free admission.
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