j a n u a r y 29, 2012

One more exhibition, though outside my field of professional interest, managed to grip me and give pleasure with its display of “Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World.”

In childhood all of us were carried away by adventure novels about Inca treasures and old Indian cities, and everyone saw one’s own pictures in one’s mind eye. But what was that world in reality? It is hard to appreciate what we know from somebody else’s account. For that matter, this time, too, I have found that the world across the ocean differs dramatically from the way we imagine it.

“Inca Treasures” exhibitions usually travel around the world, visiting Vienna, Stockholm and Paris (without, however, reaching our parts). The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has decided to show the art of two old civilizations – the Incas and the Aztecs – in all of their diversity. There are paintings and sculptures, heraldry and gold masks, painted screens and jewelry. Highly extraordinary are pictures on Christian themes, done in old bird feather technique and symbolizing the link with ancient deities.

On show are both artifacts of Pre-Columbian America and the art of Mexico and Peru of the 16th through the 19th century. Although the exhibition closes today, January 29, 2012, you can make a virtual visit and you are most welcome to do so.