During the Pre-Columbian era (3000 BC–1492 AD) the inhabitants of Mexico were making art for daily use and ritual.  Many of these objects, fashioned from clay, stone, wood, metal and woven into textiles and baskets, were of rare quality and sophistication.

This exhibiton highlighted clay and stone objects.  Clay was modeled by hand, perfectly formed without benefit of a wheel.  Vessels and figures were often burnished and/or painted.  Stone figures, vessels and decorative objects were beautifully executed and often intricately carved.  Pre-Columbian pottery and stone carving abound with material from myth and legend—gods, kings, heroes and shamansas—well as realistically portrayed people going about their daily lives.  Indigenous and fantastic animals were also decorative themes.  Many of these motifs have survived, changed by the Conquest and the passing of time, to be interpreted anew in contemporary folk art.

The twofold exhibition, ARTES DE MEXICO, offered a glimpse of a contemporary, evolving civilization with ancient roots—a rich and vital tradition of art and culture.


On View: Aug 29, 2006 - Jan 15, 2007

More Exhibitions


Arline Fisch

One of a Kind

Featuring jewelry, body ornaments and a collection of knitted and crocheted wire hanging flowers and sea creatures by internationally-renowned artist, Arline Fisch.

June 17, 2017 - January 7, 2018


Indonesian Shadow Puppets

An intimate exhibition in the Museum’s Theater Gallery featuring a selection of shadow puppets from Indonesia.

July 19, 2017 - March 18, 2018


Art of the Americas

Pre-Columbian Art from Mingei's Collection

Part of the Getty Center-led initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, this exhibition offers the most comprehensive presentation to date of the Museum’s significant holdings of objects used by people from the ancient cultures of Mexico, Central and South America.

September 16, 2017 - February 18, 2018



Recycled and Embroidered Textiles of Bengal

Featuring approximately 40 kantha (decorative stitched quilting made from recycled sari) from the Museum's permanent collection.

October 28, 2017 - March 25, 2018


Weaving a Path

Navajo Women and the Feminine Ethos

December 9, 2017 - May 20, 2018