PCSNY November Lecture

Touch and Tactility in Ancient Maya Art

Megan O’Neil
Associate Curator of Art of the Ancient Americas
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

This talk examines how the sense of touch is invoked or stimulated in ancient Maya art and writing and in the experience of things. The approach is multifaceted, looking to the pictorial, epigraphic, and archaeological records. To this end, the talk studies images of people holding or touching things, explores the emphasis in Maya writing on hands in words for action, and examines material evidence of touch in the archaeological record. Also considered is how the forms of objects and compositions of images and texts encourage users to manipulate objects, favoring somatic engagement with them. Studying touch in relation to other senses allows us to explore more fully the dimensions of the physical experience of things and probe how haptic experience of images, objects, and buildings undoubtedly was crucial to aesthetic perception and for conveying meaning.

Thursday, November 9, 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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