Monday, 13 January 2020

Golden Kingdoms: the Ancient Americas

Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas, was on view at the Getty Center in 2018 and traced the development of gold working and other luxury arts in the ancient Americas from about 1000 BC to the arrival of Europeans in the early 16th century. The exhibit revealed the ways ancient Americans used not only metals, but also jade, shell, and feathers.

Octopus Frontlet, 300–600, Moche culture

Ear Ornament Depicting a Warrior, 640–680, Moche culture
It was a world where feathers were more valuable than gold. The rarest feathers, including the iridescent green feathers of the quetzal, were reserved for the Aztec emperor himself.

The unprecedented exhibition featured more than 300 works from 53 lenders in 12 countries.
The MET exhibition followed a specific historical and geographical path. It traced the development of gold-working in the Americas from its origins in the Andes, to its expansion northward into Central America, and finally to Mexico, where gold-working comes into its own only after 1000 AD.
Jade plaque showing a seated king and palace attendant, 600–800 AD