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New-found Maya art featured in San Antonio


A culturally rich and diverse exhibition fills the San Antonio calendar as summer folds into fall.

Recently discovered Maya artworks are on display at the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) for the first time with Nature, Power, and Maya Royals. The exhibition is of 34 paintings and objects found by University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) researchers in two royal Maya burials at the ancient city of Buenavista del Cayo, Belize.

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This exhibition is the first time the selection of works will appear for public viewing. This exhibition is a collaboration between UTSA, SAMA, and the Belize Institute of Archaeology. The artworks date between 450 and 800 A.D., when Maya kings and queens reigned over large populations and lived in elaborately designed cities.

The exhibition highlights how two Maya rulers commissioned artwork with commanding iconography to express and legitimate their power. The discovery is particularly extraordinary because looters had previously trenched the building where one of the royal burials was located, missing it by just a few inches. Finding the site and objects following the looters’ destructive actions is incredibly fortunate and makes the discovery special.

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SAMA will feature the exhibit through February 27, 2022.

SAMA offers its visitors a collection spanning 5,000 years of global culture including Egyptian, Roman, Grecian, Asian, Latin American, and contemporary works of art. It is the only encyclopedic museum of fine art in South Texas. The Museum is located on the Museum Reach of the San Antonio River Walk.


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