Aztecs in the Empire City: The Rise and Fall of Ancient American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1877–1914
Author(s): Joanne Pillsbury
With the return of peace after the dislocations of the US Civil War, The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by businessmen, civic leaders, and artists in New York. Unlike its European counterparts, the institution had no royal collections on which to build. Its ancient American holdings grew through gifts and purchases from diplomats, philanthropists, and collectors. By 1900, with the acquisition of the Petich Collection of some 1500 "Aztec," and "Toltec" works, The American Archaeologist hailed the Met’s holdings as second only to Mexico City. Yet by 1914, the Museum had turned away from American antiquities, redefining not only itself but also what was considered the appropriate aesthetic purview of an art museum for decades. This paper considers the civic, national, and scholarly currents affecting the collection of ancient American art in the Gilded Age.
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Aztecs in the Empire City: The Rise and Fall of Ancient American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1877–1914. Joanne Pillsbury. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444586)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20078