ArtsATL > Art+Design > Review: Splendid “Exploring Art of Ancient Americas” brings jewelry, vessels, statuary to Frist Center

Review: Splendid “Exploring Art of Ancient Americas” brings jewelry, vessels, statuary to Frist Center

Burial Urn, K’iché Maya, Southern Highlands, Guatemala, Late Classic Period, 550–850 CE, Earthenware, post-fire paint, 21 7/8 x 26 1/2 x 22 3/4 in.,The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, gift of John Bourne, 2009 (2009.20.41), Photo © The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
Burial Urn, K’iché Maya, Southern Highlands, Guatemala, Late Classic Period, 550–850 CE, Earthenware, post-fire paint, 21 7/8 x 26 1/2 x 22 3/4 in.,The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, gift of John Bourne, 2009 (2009.20.41), Photo © The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
Burial Urn, K’iché Maya, Southern Highlands, Guatemala, Late Classic Period, 550–850 C.E. Earthenware, post-fire paint.

NASHVILLE — In 1520, the mighty Aztec Empire suffered two mortal blows. The first was the murder of its Emperor Montezuma. Even more devastating was an outbreak of smallpox, which swept through the empire’s capital city like a wildfire.

Hernán Cortés and other Spanish conquistadors brought the disease with them from the Old World, and the peoples of the New World had no resistance. Smallpox, typhus and other epidemics eventually wiped out nearly 90 percent of the native population.

“Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection,” on exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts through June 23, includes nearly 3,000 years’ worth of artworks and artifacts from the pre-Columbian New World.

(For the rest of this review, read ArtsNash.)

ArtsATL posts occasional stories and critiques from our partner, ArtsNash, to spotlight exhibitions, concerts and performances in Nashville, Tennessee. Arts lovers can also “like” ArtsNash on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

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