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Andean Culture Explored in New Queens College Exhibit


--Exhibit on One of the Most Advanced Civilizations in World History
Will Span
Over 3,000 Years of Cultural Development in
Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru--

FLUSHING, N.Y., August 28, 2009—Over 75 objects that chronicle the evolution of Andean culture will be on display in Natural and Supernatural: Andean Textiles and Material Culture, from September 8 through October 24, 2009 at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College. Through a selection of colonial and contemporary pieces, the exhibition will also examine the continuity of Andean traditions of craftsmanship and religious and cultural symbolism. An opening reception on Thursday, September 10, from 6 to 8 pm will feature Andean music. A lecture by Elena Phipps, Senior Conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will be held at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum on Wednesday, September 30 at 12:15 pm.

The works range from functional objects such as ceramic vessels and textiles used as carrying cloths and bags to colorful ceremonial costumes and dazzling jewelry. Metalwork, wood, ceramic objects, and burial offerings, including a Peruvian feathered mummy mask, will also be on view. Together the pieces provide evidence of a unified system of religious beliefs and practices among Andean cultures in everyday life. They serve as a medium for exploring the themes of ritual and the natural world, fertility, life and death, and the sacred and the mundane.

Largely devoted to pre-Columbian textiles, the exhibition begins with the earliest Chavín and Paracas cultures (ca. 1500 BC-0 AD), followed by the Nazca, Wari, Moche, and Chimú societies. The show culminates with the Inca, once called the Lost Empire (1400-1534 AD). The works, most from the museum’s permanent collection, are installed chronologically in four sections that allude

 

 Fringed border of a textile, Proto-Nazca
South Coast, Peru, 100 B.C.E.–200 C.E.

to “Tawantinsuyu” or “Land of the Four Quarters”—the Inca’s name for their sprawling empire. It extended some 2,500 miles north to south along the high mountainous Andean range, from Colombia and Ecuador to Chile, encompassing both the coastal desert and the Amazonian rain forest. At its height it had a population of over 10 million.

Organized by a consulting specialist in Andean textiles, along with four Ph.D. students in art history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York who served as curators, the exhibition allows the Godwin-Ternbach to fulfill its mission as a teaching museum that educates students and the public alike.

The exhibition will produce a catalogue, brochure, wall texts, gallery tours, and educational programs, including a demonstration by an indigenous weaver from a collective weaving village in Peru. A curators’ panel discussion will take place on October 8 at 6 pm in the museum. A lecture by Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, Director, Centro de Textiles Tradicionales, Cusco, Peru, is scheduled for October (date available after September 1 by calling the museum at 718-997-4747). Like the exhibition, programs are open to the public free of charge.

The Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College is the only comprehensive collection of art and artifacts in the borough of Queens, housing over 3,500 objects that date from ancient to modern times. A cultural and educational resource for students and the local community, the museum also serves neighboring areas of Long Island and metropolitan New York. Originally envisioned as a teaching museum for the benefit of art and art history students, the Godwin-Ternbach has expanded its mission over time, embracing all disciplines and an increasingly diverse and engaged public. All exhibitions and programs are free. In addition, the Godwin-Ternbach offers an array of lectures, symposia, gallery talks, workshops, films, concerts, and tours, collaborating with academic departments and Queens College centers and programs.

Located in Klapper Hall on the Queens College campus at 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, Queens, Exit 24 off the LIE, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum is open Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 7 pm and Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. For more information, call (718) 997-4747 or (718) 997-4724 or visit
http://qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/godwin_ternbach/


 
 

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