TAG: pre-Columbian art

Dr. Victoria Lyall Named DAM’s Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of Pre-Columbian Art

Pulque and 2 Rabbit Revelry in the Codex Borbonicus Quecholli Feast
Event: Lectures & Programs

Pulque and 2 Rabbit Revelry in the Codex Borbonicus Quecholli Feast

with Catherine diCesare
Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 6:30pm7:30pm.

The Aztecs of Central Mexico were an abstemious lot, proscribing the excessive consumption of alcohol and issuing stern edicts about the circumstances in which ritual celebrants might partake. This talk will explore the revelry that takes place around an enormous vat of the alcoholic drink known as pulque during an annual Aztec festival, known as Quecholli, illustrated in a sixteenth-century manuscript known as the Codex Borbonicus. More

Las Almas de los muertos installation
Blog: en español


Celebra tu creatividad y cultura cada primer sábado del mes con actividades bilingües para toda la familia. Visítanos el 5 de noviembre y participa en las siguientes actividades. More

Iconoclasm’s Aftermath: The Reuse of Pre-Columbian Sculpture in Colonial Mexico City
Event: Lectures & Programs

Iconoclasm’s Aftermath: The Reuse of Pre-Columbian Sculpture in Colonial Mexico City

with Sara Ryu
Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 6:30pm7:45pm.

In the decades following the Spanish conquest of Mexico (1519-1521), many pre-Columbian stone sculptures in the immediate vicinity of Mexico-Tenochtitlan were unmoored from their specific contexts, subjected to physical manipulations, and endowed with new functions. With the surviving evidence for reuse plentiful and diverse, this lecture by Sara Ryu will examine the afterlives of specific Mexica sculptures in the viceregal capital, and develop a sense of their distinct rhetorical strategies. More

Event: Lectures & Programs

Where There's Smoke, There's Fire: In Search of Volcanos in Ancient Maya Art

with Lucia Henderson 
Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 1:30pm3:00pm.

Although the highlands of Guatemala are home to one of the most active volcanic chains in the world, Maya scholars had not, until very recently, identified volcanos in the ancient art of the region.

This talk discusses the imagery of volcanos, their sometimes surprising forms and the ideological beliefs that made them so important to the ancient Maya living in this region.

Tickets are free for Alianza members and students with ID, $5 for DAM members, and $10 for others. More

Students learning about art of the ancient Maya during a field trip at the Denver Art Museum
Field Trip

The Ancient Maya

Grades 4-12

Students step into the world of Maya art and culture through fun activities and touchable art objects related to the sculpture, pottery, and jade in the museum’s diverse collection.

Students learning about the art of Mexico during a field trip at the Denver Art Museum
Field Trip


Ancient Maya, Spanish Colonial & Southwest Colorado
Grades 4–8

Students experience the art and culture of Mexico through powerful objects from Pre-Columbian times to the present on this discovery-oriented, multi-sensory tour.

Vase with bird-headed dancers, Maya, about A.D. 600–900, Guatemala, northern Petén.
Event: Lectures & Programs

Conversation with Curator: Grand Gestures

Friday, May 6, 2016 - 4:00pm4:45pm.

Jesse Ortega and Julie Wilson Frick will discuss the importance of dance in the pre-Columbian world using objects from the exhibition, Grand Gestures: Dance, Drama, Masquerade. More

Pre-Columbian ceramic figure
Blog: Behind the Scenes

DAM Pre-Columbian Curator Assists MSU Denver Student

What Did Ancient Costa Ricans Look Like? 

When scientists in Costa Rica wanted to put a "face" to a 2,500-year-old skull, they needed a forensic artist. The forensic artist needed representations of what women of the time looked like. She came to the DAM. More

Event: Lectures & Programs

Water, Politics and Power on Peru's North Coast

With Michele Koons
Sunday, January 17, 2016 - 2:30pm4:30pm.

This presentation will explore the politics and power of the Moche archaeological culture of the North Coast of Peru through an examination of the organization of their irrigation systems. In the dry desert of Northern Peru, good water management was a matter of life or death. More

Dancing Maize God Tripod Plate

Grand Gestures

Dance, Drama, Masquerade
On View through August 1, 2017

Pre-Columbian art is full of human and supernatural figures in dramatic poses. This installation of 29 objects presents a cross-cultural selection of works from the DAM's extensive collection. More

Event: Lectures (old category)

All that Glitters: Style and Status at Chichen Itza

Sunday, September 20, 2015 - 2:30pm3:45pm.

Dr. Annabeth Headrick will discuss Chichen Itza, with special focus on the Temple of the Warriors. Through the art of the temple, she will show how international trade exploded and elevated the status of the warriors who went in search of ever more exotic goods.

Doors open at 2 pm.

Free for Alianza members free; $5 DAM members; $10 others. Students with ID free.

Sponsored by Alianza de las Artes Americanas, a DAM support group. More

Conversation with Curator: Sacred Geography–The Gateway Tunic
Event: Tours

Conversation with Curator: Sacred Geography–The Gateway Tunic

Friday, May 1, 2015 - 4:00pm4:45pm.

The Tiwanaku civilization of ancient Bolivia is famous for massive architecture and monumental stone sculpture. This installation features a magnificent tapestry tunic patterned with a Tiwanaku cosmogram. Curator Margaret Young-Sánchez provides insight into its context, creation, and meaning.

Conversations with Curators feature lively discussions with different curators on the first Friday of the month. All Conversations are free with general admission and no reservations are needed.

Meet at 4 pm in the elevator lobby of level 4 of the North Building. More

Event: Lectures (old category)

The Original Performance Piece: Tomb Figures of Western Mexico

with Christopher Beekman
Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 2:30pm4:30pm.

Anthropomorphic ceramic figures have been looted from shaft and chamber tombs in western Mexico for well over a century, and literally thousands of them exist today in museum collections, not to mention those in the hands of private collectors. The very small number of examples excavated by archeologists remains a problem for any serious understanding of their significance. More