Is the Power of Art the Art of Power? Answers from Ancient Mexico

Wednesday 21 May, 5pm
Mill Lane Lecture Room 3

Dr. Jago Cooper
Curator of the Americas at the British Museum

In this Bushnell Memorial lecture, Dr. Jago Cooper will explore the role art has played in the development of complex societies in the Americas. By selecting case studies from Ancient Mexico it is possible to examine the interrelated development of artistic traditions and negotiated power over a period of 2000 years. Such a long-term perspective reveals not only how art forms a crucial mechanism for political control and communication, but also how it is the driving force behind such a stunning array of artistic traditions in the region. Combining these archaeological and art historical frameworks for interpretation helps us to reevaluate the role of art in evolving governance structures through time. The lessons that arise have fundamental implications for how we interpret concepts of identity, hierarchy, aesthetics and society among some of the most intriguing cultures in the ancient world.

Olmec_Head_Low (2)_smOlmec carved stone face from the site of San Lorenzo, Mexico

No booking required.

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