PCSNY September Lecture

Migration or Imitation?
The Anomalous Appearance of Maya-Style Murals at the Central Mexican Site of Cacaxtla

Andrew D. Turner
Postdoctoral Associate in Art of the Ancient Americas, Yale University Art Gallery

Since their discovery in the mid 1970s, the Maya-style murals of Cacaxtla, Tlaxcala (AD 600–900) have challenged notions of Mesoamerican cultures as regionally bounded and immobile. Located some 450 miles (700 km) from the nearest Maya site, the murals have been considered by some to be the result of migration or invasion by a poorly understood group from the southern Gulf Coast referred to as the Olmeca-Xicalanca, and by others to be a local attempt to claim ties to distant powers. This presentation considers the Maya-style traits that appear within Cacaxtla’s murals and elsewhere in the site’s monumental art programs and argues that Cacaxtla’s art reflects a deep and sustained engagement with specific Late Classic sites of the Maya Lowlands. Through analysis of style and iconography at Cacaxtla, it is possible to gain a better understanding of the nature of interaction between powerful cities of the Maya region and Central Mexico during the Late Classic period.

Thursday, September 14, 2017
6 PM in the Lecture Hall
The Institute of Fine Arts
1 East 78th Street

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
[Registration for this event has closed.]

Followed by a reception with wine and cheese in the Loeb Room

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