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Aztec life, art subject of lectures by Art Institute of Chicago curator

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
March 26, 2010

Richard Townsend

Richard Townsend

Richard Townsend, curator of African and Native American art at the Art Institute of Chicago, will present two lectures March 29 at Texas State University-San Marcos.

The lectures, sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, are free and open to the public.

Townsend will speak on "Life and Art in the Aztec World" at 2 p.m. in room 229 of the Evans Liberal Art Building. The discussion will cover the dramatic cycle of the Aztecs' seasonal festivals, and how the expansion of empire required that the Aztecs design and produce brilliant works of art and architecture for the rituals which were symbolic re-enactments of creation itself.

Townsend will follow with "The Land and its Symbols in Aztec Art and Religious Performance" at 7 p.m. in the Alkek Teaching Theater. A reception will follow. The discussion will cover sacred places in the landscape, where the powers of the earth, sky and waters were held to be especially concentrated. Because of the perceived power of the locations, kings and priests were periodically required to celebrate the dramatic cycle of Aztec ritual festivals there.

For additional information, contact the Department of Anthropology at (512) 245-8272.