Lavishly illustrated with nearly 400 color images, Painting the Maya Universe is the most thorough study and brilliant display of Classic Maya ceramic painting yet published. Building on twenty years of research and debate, Dorie Reents-Budet and her collaborators Joseph W. Ball, Ronald L. Bishop, Virginia M. Fields, and Barbara MacLeod bring together many perspectives, including the art historical, archaeological, epigraphical, and ethnohistorical, to examine one of the world’s great but overlooked painting traditions. With an emphasis on sixth- to eighth-century pottery featuring both pictorial and hieroglyphic imagery, Painting the Maya Universe presents an extraordinary exploration of the cultural roles and meanings of these Guatemalan, Belizean, and Mexican elite painted ceramics. Maya pottery is discussed both in aesthetic terms and for the important information it reveals about Maya society, artistry, politics, history, religion, and ritual. The range of ceramic painting styles developed during this period is also presented and defined in detail. Painting the Maya Universe is the first publication to present a definitive translation of the hieroglyphic texts painted on these objects. With many glyphs deciphered here for the first time, this analysis reveals much about how these vessels were perceived and used by the Maya, their owners’ names, and, in several cases, the names of the artists who created them. This information is combined with archaeological and other data, including nuclear chemical analyses, to correlate painting styles with specific Maya sites. Published in conjunction with Duke University Museum of Art and an exhibition touring the United States, Painting the Maya Universe presents an astonishing visual record as well as a monumental scholarly achievement. With photographs by Justin Kerr, the foremost photographer of pre-Columbian art, it includes over 90 unique full-color rollout photographs, each showing the entire surface of an object in a single frame. The book also addresses the questions and controversy regarding the loss of information that occurs when objects are removed from their archaeological context to become part of public and private collections. Painting the Maya Universe will energize discussion of Maya pottery, hieroglyphic texts, and iconography. Its photographs, a lasting resource on this great painting tradition, will stimulate and delight the eye. It is a breakthrough in art history and Latin American scholarship that will enrich general readers and scholars alike.
In May 1853, Charles Dickens paid a visit to the “savages at Hyde Park Corner,” an exhibition of thirteen imported Zulus performing cultural rites ranging from songs and dances to a “witch-hunt” and marriage ceremony. Dickens was not the only Londoner intrigued by these “living curiosities”: displayed foreign peoples provided some of the most popular public entertainments of their day. At first, such shows tended to be small-scale entrepreneurial speculations of just a single person or a small group. By the end of the century, performers were being imported by the hundreds and housed in purpose-built “native” villages for months at a time, delighting the crowds and allowing scientists and journalists the opportunity to reflect on racial difference, foreign policy, slavery, missionary work, and empire.
Peoples on Parade provides the first substantial overview of these human exhibitions in nineteenth-century Britain. Sadiah Qureshi considers these shows in their entirety—their production, promotion, management, and performance—to understand why they proved so commercially successful, how they shaped performers’ lives, how they were interpreted by their audiences, and what kinds of lasting influence they may have had on notions of race and empire. Qureshi supports her analysis with diverse visual materials, including promotional ephemera, travel paintings, theatrical scenery, art prints, and photography, and thus contributes to the wider understanding of the relationship between science and visual culture in the nineteenth century.
Through Qureshi’s vibrant telling and stunning images, readers will see how human exhibitions have left behind a lasting legacy both in the formation of early anthropological inquiry and in the creation of broader public attitudes toward racial difference.
Poetries – Politics: A Celebration of Language, Art, and Learning celebrates the best of innovative humanities pedagogy and creative graphic design. Designed and implemented during a time of political divisiveness, the Poetries – Politics project created a space of inviting, multilingual walls on the Rutgers campus, celebrating diversity, community, and cross-cultural exchange. This book, like the original project, provides a platform for the incredible generative power of student-led work. Essays feature the perspectives of three students and professors originally involved in the project, reflecting on their learning and exploring the works they selected for the original exhibition. The essays lead to a beautifully illustrated catalogue of the original student designs.
Reproduced in full color and with the accompanying poems in both their original language and a translation, this catalogue commemorates the incredible creative spirit of the project and provides a new way of contemplating these great poetic works.
Pope.L: Showing Up to Withhold
The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress NX512.P668A4 2014 | Dewey Decimal 700.92
Iconoclast and artist Pope.L uses the body, sex, and race as his materials the way other artists might use paint, clay, or bronze. His work problematizes social categories by exploring how difference is marked economically, socially, and politically. Working in a range of media from ketchup to baloney to correction fluid, with a special emphasis on performativity and writing, Pope.L pokes fun at and interrogates American society’s pretenses, the bankruptcy of contemporary mores, and the resulting repercussions for a civil society. Other favorite Pope.L targets are squeamishness about the human body and the very possibility of making meaning through art and its display.
Published to accompany his wonderfully inscrutable exhibition Forlesen at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Pope.L: Showing Up to Withhold is simultaneously an artist’s book and a monograph. In addition to reproductions of a number of his most recent artworks, it includes images of significant works from the past decade, and presents a forum for reflection and analysis on art making today with contributions by renowned critics and scholars, including Lawrie Balfour, Nick Bastis, Lauren Berlant, and K. Silem Mohammad.
How do the funding, setting architecture, and exhibition of a presidential library shape our understanding of the president’s character? And how do diverse performances of the presidency create radically different opportunities for the practice of American citizenship? In Presidential Libraries as Performance: Curating American Character from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush, Jodi Kanter analyzes presidential libraries as performances that encourage visitors to think in particular ways about executive leadership and about their own roles in public life.
Kanter considers the moments in the presidents’ lives the museums choose to interpret, and not to interpret, and how the libraries approach common subjects in the presidential museum narrative—the presidents’ early years in relation to cultural ideals, the libraries’ representations of presidential failures, personal and political, and the question of presidential legacy. Identifying the limited number of strategies the libraries currently use to represent the diversity of the American experience and American character, Kanter offers concrete suggestions for reinventing and reshaping the practices of museum professionals and visitors within the walls of these institutions.
Presidential museums can tell us important things about the relationships between performance and politics, entertainment and history, and leaders and the people they lead. Kanter demonstrates how the presidential libraries generate normative narratives about individual presidents, historical events, and what it means to be an American.