Dallas Museum of Art Acquires a Masterwork of Pre-Columbian Art for its Arts of the Americas Collection

Maya Effigy Vase Will Go on View Summer 2015

Dallas, TX— March 2, 2015 — The Dallas Museum of Art today announced the acquisition of an artistically significant pre-Columbian Maya vessel for its Arts of the Americas collection. This Late Classic (A.D. 700–900) ceramic vase is from the site of Quirigua in Guatemala, near the border with Honduras. Small, at only seven inches high, and striking, it features a modeled face, perhaps that of a Maya god. The vase is scheduled to go on view this summer in the Museum’s Ancient Art of the Americas gallery on Level 4.

Appearing in scholarly publications in 1913, 1916, 1935, 1943, and again in 1980 and 1988, the ceramic vessel was sold at auction in November 2014 by the St. Louis Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, which had acquired the object in 1912 through the St. Louis chapter’s support of field excavations by archaeologist Earl H. Morris during the Third Quirigua Expedition.

“We are delighted that the Maya effigy vase, a beautiful work of ancient American art, has found a new home in our institution,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the DMA.  “Given the art historical importance of this pre-Columbian vessel, its clearly documented provenance, and its cultural heritage in the Americas, the DMA deemed it important to maintain this historical vase within a public collection, one which offers free access to visitors interested in seeing it and to scholars for research and publication.”

“The vase is a stunning example of Late Classic Maya modeled ceramic art. Its acquisition both advances the DMA’s ancient Americas collection and offers a striking object for appreciating the diversity and refinement of Maya visual representation,” added Kimberly L. Jones, the Museum’s Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of Arts of the Americas.

Image: Effigy vase, Guatemala, Maya, Late Classic, A.D. 700–900, ceramic, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund

About the Dallas Museum of Art and Its Arts of the Americas Collection
The Arts of the Americas collection at the Dallas Museum of Art, which includes more than 4,400 works of art spanning more than 3,000 years and representing sixteen countries, is remarkably representative of the great artistic achievements and cultural heritage of the Western Hemisphere.

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 22,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum welcomes over 650,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. In January 2013, the DMA returned to a free general admission policy and launched DMA Friends, the first free museum membership program in the country, which currently has over 90,000 members.  For more information, visit DMA.org.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Partners and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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