Pre-Columbian Society of Washington DC

The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. (PCSWDC), is an educational organization dedicated to furthering knowledge and understanding of the peoples of the Americas before the time of Columbus. Founded in 1993, the Society provides a forum for the exchange of information regarding these pre-Columbian cultures between academic professionals and interested members of the public.

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Life and Death in an Andean River: The Making of Ancestors on a Lambayeque Vessel by Andrew Hamilton, PhD, Princeton University.

This meeting will be held at the Charles Sumner School, 17th & M Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.

The meeting starts with refreshments at 6:45 pm and the lecture begins at 7:15 pm.

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One of the most iconographically rich objects in all of Pre-Columbian Andean art is a repoussé-chased silver vessel from the Lambayeque culture. The beaker is covered in dense scenes that shed light on the complex worldviews of people living on the north coast of Peru during the 1300s. But, since the cup first entered the collection of the Denver Art Museum, it has likely been incorrectly assembled. How should the pieces actually fit together? And, how does this new configuration reshape our understanding of the cup’s narrative? This masterpiece of Andean silverwork was featured in the landmark exhibition Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


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Andrew Hamilton is a scholar of the art and architecture of the ancient and colonial Americas, specializing in the Andes. His work is invested in analyzing objects, how they were made, used, and eventually disused, in order to understand why they were created and what cultural meanings they bore. He is a practicing artist and frequently illustrates his own publications. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University and has recently been awarded a Getty/ACLS Fellowship in the History of Art for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Earlier Event: May 4
Later Event: July 6

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