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For Ancient American cultures, such as the Maya and the Inka, the materiality of artwork held important significance. Materials like jade, turquoise, feathers, spondylus, gold, silver, and textiles were highly prized because of their association with life-giving forces, such as water, the sky, the sun, and the moon. Using examples from the Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s collection, this talk explores how materiality in the Ancient Americas informs the artwork’s meaning.

Dr. Jeanette Nicewinter recently earned a Ph.D. in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in Pre-Columbian Art and a minor in Modern Art and Theory. She also holds an M.A. in Art History from VCU and a B.F.A. in Studio Arts from the University of Tampa.

This program is a part of the Centuries of Art series, brought to you in partnership by Williamsburg Regional Library, the Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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