Stacy Smith Rebecca Brenowitz Publications Manager Community Relations by bsj14523



Stacy Smith                                                           Rebecca Brenowitz
Publications Manager                                                  Community Relations Coordinator
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum                                     Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum
732.932.7237, extension 629 (national inquiries)                      732.932.7237, extension 611 (NJ inquiries)

Image requests should be sent directly to Stacy Smith, noting publication specifications:

Date: November 14, 2006

TO THE POINT: An extensive collection of Pre-Columbian Ceramics arrives as the focus of the
Zimmerli’s newest exhibition.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers,

The State University of New Jersey revealed its exciting new exhibition of

Pre-Columbian ceramics on October 14. The exhibition, which will run for

several years, will cover Pre-Columbian art from various ancient Peruvian

cultures, the Cuna culture in Panama, and the Mayan culture in southern

Mexico. With a time period that begins 1500 B.C. and extends through to the

fall of the Incan empire, the exhibition is sure to be an enriching addition to

the Zimmerli’s collections. Commenting on the exhibition, Director Gregory

Perry stated, “The Zimmerli is very happy to exhibit its fine collection of Pre-Columbian pottery – it has not

been seen in its entirety in over twenty-five years. The long-term installation gives us the opportunity to

create ongoing series of accompanying programs that celebrate the rich and varied Hispanic cultures from

which these works of art were produced.”
        Societies in ancient Meso-America were fascinated by various subjects such as the fertility of earth,

nature, and an array of animals. Pottery from the Vicus Style (400 B.C. – 100 A.D.) portrays a sense of

humor that is discernable to the contemporary eye, denoting less attention to the supernatural and greater

interest in the daily occurrences of human and animal life. An acute sense of realism can be found

throughout the works of the Mochica Culture (200 B.C. – 700 A.D.), as they represent a rare but active

interest in portraiture of both high dignitaries, as well as commoners. From pottery and other material

evidence, it has been surmised that small religious and elite military groups ruled over the majority of the

population which consisted primarily of peasants and craftsmen.

        The varied Pre-Columbian cultures are distinctive in style, as each population maintained their own

interests in both subject choice and composition. Fantastic animals, mythological beings, and stylized plants

are all represented in complex and colorful designs during the Nazca Culture (200 B.C. – 600 A.D.), while

black wares predominated ceramic production in the Chimu Kingdom (1000 – 1470 A.D.) recapturing some

of the social and artistic achievements of the Mochica Culture.

        Featured pieces represent the daily routines of ancient life, and include double-bodied bridge jars,

stirrup spouts, and effigy jars. Augmented with a generous long-term loan from the Princeton University

Art Museum, the display has become one of the most significant reinstallations focusing on the museum’s

permanent collection.

        The Zimmerli Art Museum is located at 71 Hamilton St. on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers

University in New Brunswick. Hours are Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday – Sunday,

noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $3.00 for adults and free for museum members, Rutgers students, faculty and

staff (with ID), and children under 18. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. For more

information, call 732.932.7237, ext. 610.

Image Credit
Peruvian (pre-Columbian)
Stirrup-spouted jar in the form of a seated man
Mochica III style, circa 1-200 AD
Tanware with red and cream paint
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Erich K. Harkna

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