Washington, DC—Mary Miller, dean of Yale College and Sterling Professor of History of Art, will present the Fifty-Ninth A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts series, entitled Art and Representation in the Ancient New World, this spring at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.
The series will include the following lectures:
April 18: The Shifting Now of the Pre-Columbian Past
April 25: Seeing Time, Hearing Time, Placing Time
May 2: The Body of Perfection, the Perfection of the Body
May 9: Representation and Imitation
May 16: Envisioning a New World
All lectures take place Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. in the East Building Auditorium. The programs are free and open to the public, and seating is first come, first served.
Art and Representation in the Ancient New World examines the evolution of the field of pre-Columbian art over the past four decades. The lectures take as their starting point the works of art themselves, exploring the questions inherent in those works and how these questions have found echoes in more modern study and historiography. In this way, Miller explains, the series illuminates “an expanding universe: the black hole of pre-Columbian art…what it means for those who try to study it,” and how the corpus of pre-Columbian works can help us to understand principles so grand that they transcend cultural boundaries.
The Gallery’s bookshop on the Concourse will offer the new title The Aztec Calendar Stone (2010), coauthored by Miller and Khristaan D. Villela, as well as Miller’s books Maya Art and Architecture (1999), The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya: An Illustrated Dictionary of Mesoamerican Religion (with Karl Taube, 1993), The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec (1986), The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art (with Linda Schele, 1986), and the exhibition catalogue for Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya (2004), which was on view at the National Gallery of Art from April 4 through July 25, 2004.
The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts
The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts were established by the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Art in 1949 "to bring to the people of the United States the results of the best contemporary thought and scholarship bearing upon the subject of the Fine Arts." The program is named for Andrew W. Mellon, the founder of the National Gallery of Art, who gave the nation his art collection and funds to build the West Building, which opened to the public in 1941.
Mary Miller is the dean of Yale College and Sterling Professor of History of Art. A specialist in the art of the ancient New World, Miller curated the exhibition Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She is the author of Maya Art and Architecture (1999), The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya: An Illustrated Dictionary of Mesoamerican Religion (with Karl Taube, 1993), The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec (1986), and The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art (with Linda Schele, 1986). Miller has won national recognition including a Guggenheim Fellowship and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is completing her archaeological project to document and reconstruct the Maya wall paintings at Bonampak, Mexico.
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