From Earth to Sky: Ancient Art of the Americas

Event Type Exhibitions
Date calendar  Saturday, July 27, 2024
Time clock  (all day)
Location Hodge and Temporary Exhibition Galleries

This exhibition features ancient ceramic sculptures from Mexico and Costa Rica (200 BCE–200 CE). Since they did not leave a written record, these clay objects, many of which depict ancestral figures, ball players, warriors, animals, and shamans, offer a glimpse into the lives of people living more than 2,000 years ago. Also included are vessels used to store or serve food or drink, as well as other objects that would have been used in ceremonies or community events. Like other ancient cultures, their strong belief in the afterlife is evidenced by the practice of placing objects of significance in the tomb.  These underground shaft-tombs contained clay sculptures that were intended to serve as companions, guides, and guardians of the spirit of the deceased. Many objects in this exhibition now tell us something about how these cultures/peoples viewed themselves and their environment, how they honored the dead, and how they celebrated life. 

All of the artwork in From Earth to Sky was collected in the mid-20th century by Texas oil operator Ted Weiner. His interest in art sparked in the early 1940s, when he purchased a landscape painting while redecorating his parent’s home. By 1951 he began actively collecting both contemporary and ancient sculpture. He amassed one of the largest collections of sculpture west of the Mississippi and was involved in arts organizations until his death in 1979. In 2022 Ted’s daughter Gwen donated his collection to the FIA.

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