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New Andes Textiles and Acquisitions On View NOW!

On view NOW, check out a new set of textiles and two new acquisitions in gallery 232—all from the ancient Andes (today, mainly Peru).  

The Andes were home to the great Inca Empire, but many other cultures rose and fell in the region before the Inca came to power.  The new acquisitions represent two that range in date from very early (2200–200 BC) to much later (AD 600–1000).  From the Cupisnique (that’s coo-piz-knee-kay) is a small, rare vessel depicting a human pecked by two birds that perch on the doughnut-shaped chamber.  Also in view is a small bone object, carved in the shape of a supernatural sacrificer, that once served as the thumb rest of a spear thrower used by a warrior of the Wari Empire. 

The textiles—all dating from the time of the Paracas people (700 BC–AD 1)—have been in the collection since as early as 1940 and will be on display until next August.  (The gallery’s textile displays are changed to protect the fabrics from light exposure and fading).  Ancient Andean weavers created one of the world’s most distinguished textile traditions in both artistic and technical terms.  Most elaborate Andean textiles served as garments.  Among them, the tunic (shirt) was important as an essential item of men’s wear, its ornamentation and method of fabrication often signaling prestige and prosperity.  Three tunics, all with different decorative techniques, anchor the new display.  Also on view is a small, new display of Native North American textiles—two Diné (Navajo) examples that represent the evolution of the native wearing blanket into rugs created for the Anglo tourist market at the turn of the 20th century.

See images of these pieces below, and check them out in person NOW! 

Vessel with Reclining Figure and Birds, 1200–200 BC. Central Andes, north coast, Cupisnique people. Ceramic, pigment (cinnabar?). Gift of John and Agneta Solomon  2017.55

Thumb Rest of a Spear Thrower, 600–1000. Central Andes, Wari people. Bone. Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2017.58

Tunic with Monkey-like Creature, 400–200 BC . Camelid fiber. Central Andes, south coast, probably Ocucaje, Ica Valley, Paracas people The Norweb Collection  1940.514

Hubbel Revival-Style Rug with Moki (Moqui) Stripes, about 1890–1910. Wool; tapestry weave. Southwest, Diné (Navajo) people. Gift of Mrs. L. E. Holden  1917.62

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