Turquoise, Jade, Shell, and Feathers (oh my!): Materiality in the Ancient Americas

Request Program

For Ancient American cultures, such as the Maya and the Inka, the materiality of the artwork held important significance. Materials like jade, turquoise, feathers, spondylus, gold, silver, and textiles were highly prized because of their association with life-giving forces, such as water, the sky, the sun, and the moon. Using examples from the VMFA’s collection, this talk explores how materiality in the Ancient Americas informs the artwork’s meaning.