Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

PCSNY March Lecture – Ellen Hoobler

March 5, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Smoothing the Path for Rough Stones:
The Arensberg Collection of Pre-Columbian Art

Ellen Hoobler
William B. Ziff, Jr., Associate Curator of Art of the Americas
The Walters Art Museum

Unknown Aztec artist, Calendar Stone, 1300-1500, central Mexico. Green igneous rock, 19 1/2 x 33 in. (49.5 x 83.8 cm), weight: 1380 lbs. (625.96 kg). The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1950-134-403


From 1911 to 1954, Louise and Walter Arensberg formed one of the most important groupings of pre-Columbian art in the United States—a collection that is almost unknown today. Collecting at the same time as Robert Woods Bliss, the Arensbergs were also enthusiasts of modern art (and close friends of Marcel Duchamp), and the popularity of their modern collection has over time eclipsed the ancient American works they acquired. The couple began collecting pre-Columbian works in New York in the 1910s, dramatically accelerated their acquisitions in Hollywood from the late 1930s through the early 1950s, and donated their treasures to the Philadelphia Museum of Art at their deaths in 1953/54. While for decades, many of their works languished in the PMA’s storerooms, recently they have begun to be exhibited in the museums of Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. This talk will outline the types of objects that the Arensbergs helped popularize, such as playful West Mexican ceramics, elegantly shaped ballgame paraphernalia, and especially rough stone Aztec pieces.

Thursday, March 5, 2020
6 PM in the Lecture Hall
The Institute of Fine Arts
1 East 78th Street

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
RSVP to the Institute of Fine Arts HERE

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


March 5, 2020
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Institute of Fine Arts–NYU
1 East 78th Street
New York, New York 10075
+ Google Map