Cover image for Art treasures of ancient Mexico : journey to the land of the gods
Art treasures of ancient Mexico : journey to the land of the gods
Solís Olguín, Felipe R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Amsterdam : De Nieuwe Kerk : Waanders Publishers in association with Lund Humphries, 2002.
Physical Description:
288 pages : color illustrations, color map ; 31 cm
General Note:
"Published to accompany the exhibition Mexico: journey to the land of the gods: art treasures of ancient Mexico held in the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, from 3 March until 30 June 2002"--T.p. verso.

Translated from the Dutch.
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F1219.3.A7 S58 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



The art of Pre-Columbian Mexico stretches across 5000 years and encompasses the traditions of numerous cultures including the Mayas, Incas and Aztecs. Ancient artefacts reflect an animistic society where it was believed that everything in nature was imbued with a soul or spirit. Addressing the Olmec period through to the Aztecs (a span of over 1000 years), this text is an exploration into the civilizations of Mesoamerica through an examination of over 250 art objects - highlights include the Senor de Las Limas, jade masks, a giant Olmec head and a bowl used for preparation of human skin after sacrifice. Specific themes such as daily life, the underworld of the gods, funerary rites, religion and ritual and the role of animals and plants in the cultural life of the region are discussed, so providing an insightful view into some of the most fascinating societies history has ever seen.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This book is published to coincide with a major exhibition just wrapping up at Amsterdam's Nieuwe Kerk that will travel to the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The exhibit is part of an effort to introduce people in Europe to New World treasures. This volume differs from other Pre-Columbian art books in the objects covered and the insightful text. Over 250 magnificent art objects from key ethnographic collections in Mexico are explored. Art techniques and styles are discussed, as are artistic inspiration and organization of the artistic community. The authors, all experts in the field, offer many fascinating insights into the personal lives and thoughts of the artists and the society. As the title implies, a journey to ancient Mexico is a journey to the world of the gods; the world was a theater for the gods, and people shared in the drama of the universe. The book includes 250 color illustrations, a map showing the sites, and a wonderful catalog of the exhibit arranged by subject. Recommended for large public, academic, and special libraries. Sylvia Andrews, Indiana State Lib., Indianapolis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This illustrated catalog was prepared by a team of Mexican and Dutch scholars for an exhibition of 250 pre-Columbian objects from Mexican collections, shown at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, March through June 2002. It is presented as a kind of primer about Mesoamerican art and society ranging from the Olmecs to the Aztecs, but for such a purpose one is better served by an introductory work like Mary Ellen Miller's The Art of Mesoamerica (3rd ed., 2001), which covers the essential subject of architecture as well as the other visual arts and is not limited, as in this case, to exhibitable sculpture. However, this well-produced, large format book with excellent illustrations also contains six short, thought-provoking introductory essays, such as Rudolf van Zantwijk's on the interconnected belief systems in Mesoamerica, or Miguel Leon Portilla's piece on the Nahuatl or Aztec conception of art, which finds kindred ideas about the origin of art in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound and the divine gifts of the plumed serpent, Quetzalcoatl. General readers; graduate students; faculty and researchers. C. W. Talbot Trinity University