Design for Eternity

Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas

Exhibition Website

- Sep 18 2016

From the first millennium B.C. until the arrival of Europeans in the sixteenth century, artists from the ancient Americas created small-scale architectural models to be placed in the tombs of important individuals. These works in stone, ceramic, wood, and metal range from highly abstracted, minimalist representations of temples and houses to elaborate architectural complexes populated with figures. Such miniature structures were critical components in funerary practice and beliefs about an afterlife, and they convey a rich sense of ancient ritual as well as the daily lives of the Aztecs, the Incas, and their predecessors.

This exhibition, the first of its kind in the United States, sheds light on the role of these objects in mediating relationships between the living, the dead, and the divine. It also provides a rare look at ancient American architecture, much of which did not survive to the present day. Some thirty remarkable loans from museums in the United States and Peru join works from the Metropolitan Museum's permanent collection, which is particularly rich in this material

Credit: Exhibition Overview from the Met Museum website

Whether you go or not, Design for Eternity: Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas  presents the first exploration in English of small-scale architectural models from the ancient Americas, revealings the insights they provide into their makers’ daily lives, beliefs, and rituals.

  • Architecture
  • Indigenous
  • Ancient
  • Sacred
  • Americas

Exhibition Venues & Dates