Arts of the Americas

Shell Mosaic Ritual Mask
Shell Mosaic Ritual Mask, AD 300/600. Teotihuacan, Mexico.

Featuring over 1,750 works dating from 4000 BC through the 20th century, the collection of the arts of the Americas represents numerous diverse cultures throughout the vast and varied landscape of the Americas. With objects from North America, Mesoamerica, Lower Central America, and the Andes, the collection boasts such highlights as a cache of ritual objects from the southwestern United States, an Aztec carved monument celebrating royal accession, Late Classic Maya ceramics painted with images of myth and history, West Coast Mexico’s clay sculptures depicting individuals and rituals, Moche and Nazca ceramic vessels and portrait heads, and textiles and gold from the ancient Peruvian world. These wide-ranging holdings offer insight into the peoples of the Americas, their understanding of their place in the world, and their relationship to natural and supernatural powers upon which all life depended.

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