About This Artwork

Donal Hord
American, 1902–1966

Aztec, c. 1937

Terracotta, glazed
50.8 x 48.3 x 52.1 cm (20 x 19 x 20 1/2 in.)

The Art Institute of Chicago, Works Progress Administration Allocation, 1943.1417

Donal Hord was a nationally renowned sculptor who frequently looked to Pre-Columbian civilizations for inspiration. He created works in stone, terracotta, bronze, and wood that incorporate aspects of Aztecan and Mayan design and ornamentation. While working with the Works Progress Administration in the mid-1930s, Hord completed a number of public sculptures; Aztec is a replica of the head of a large diorite figure created for San Diego State University. Despite duplicating only its upper third, Hord was able to capture the power of the original sculpture through the figure’s clenched hands and somber expression.

— Permanent collection label




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