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Peruvian Artifacts

Time Travel Tuesday

Time Travel Tuesday // Peruvian Artifacts

It’s Tues­day, and another install­ment of Time Travel Tues­day with Rebecca of Big Things! I’m really excited about the images that she is presenting! Check out what she’s got to say about Peruvian Artifacts below!


Recently, I decided it would be worthwhile to scan some of my books and share the images online. These are from a 1968 catalog from an exhibition at the Guggenheim called Mastercraftsmen of Ancient Peru. It was the largest exhibition of Peruvian artifacts ever shown outside of Peru and included over 700 objects from private and public collections.

The history behind these objects fascinates me- not only the original maker, purpose, technique and materials, but also the provenance of each piece. How is it possible that these fragile ceramics and textiles have survived thousands of years of environmental stress, colonial pillaging, archaeological excavations, and black market dealings to finally arrive in various museums or private collections? What a long and mysterious journey!



Some of these textiles, namely from the Paracas Necropolis (c. 500-200 B.C.), are considered to be some of the most intricate and impressive examples of ancient embroidery and weaving. They were discovered wrapped in layers around bodies entombed in the ruins of a hillside community. I love the rich colors and geometric qualities.




While researching the show a bit more, I also found this photo of art handlers unpacking some of the ceramics from the show! You can view the rest of the catalogue online here.