The pre-Columbian art of Latin America is still being discovered in the mountain valleys, deserts, tropical jungles and storerooms of museums and private collectors. From ancient Valdivian figurines and vessels made 5000 years before the arrival of Europeans, to Inca and Aztec objects created just before the Spanish arrived, the rich array of ancient Latin American cultures is represented here, in the Jimmy and Leonora Belilty collection. Spanning fifty centuries and covering the vast geographic expanse from southern Peru to northern Mexico, this collection presents a remarkable survey of ancient American art. There are images of gods, portraits of men and women, representations of animals and plants, and objects of pure abstraction. Jade, gold, clay, stone, wood, bone and shell objects reveal the wide variety of materials pre-Columbian artists used.
Assembled with an aesthetic eye and personal passion by collectors deeply familiar with modern and contemporary art, the selection is both personal and universal, a surprise and inspiration to all. Artistic quality, originality of concept and mastery of materials and workmanship are the pillars of the collection. Although this volume is not intended to be an encyclopaedia of pre-Columbian art, the objects evoke the creativity of ancient American artists and the complicated worldview that was the foundation of pre-Columbian culture. The Discovery of America continues with this book.