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[exhibit] “Fascination with Fauna: The Portrayal of Animals in Pre-Hispanic Art”

[exhibit] “Fascination with Fauna: The Portrayal of Animals in Pre-Hispanic Art”

S.F.’s Mexican Museum presents “Fascination with Fauna: The Portrayal of Animals in Pre-Hispanic Art”

Showcases the significance of animals in nature, religion, society, and art to three cultures from ancient Mexico, Central America, and Peru. Featuring art from the museum’s Pre-Hispanic collection.

The exhibition runs through Feb. 26, 2017.


The ceramic dogs, birds and rabbits in this exhibit look like toys, and some may actually have been that centuries ago in Mexico, Central America and Peru. But most were sacred figures or ritual objects, buried to join the dead in the underworld.

Don’t miss the delicate tripod vessel that has survived for at least 1,000 years and the charming little bat god. These dozens of objects are a preview of the collection that will be displayed when the museum moves to a permanent, much larger building in downtown San Francisco, probably in 2018.

In 2017, we aspire to offer more than ever before: thought-provoking exhibitions, FREE Family Sundays, language classes, book clubs, art history discussions, and more. Our mission is to put our best foot forward in promoting Latin American/Latino/Latinx arts and culture in a safe and stimulating space.

“The Mexican Museum is proud to present the first art exhibition of its kind in the United States, where the specific focus is on how animals were revered and even worshipped by the early peoples of Mexico, Central America, and Peru for 2,500 years,” said Vanessa Moreno, Co-Curator for the exhibition. “With more than 2,000 items in our Pre-Hispanic Art Collection, guests can expect to see some of the finest examples of Pre-Hispanic art in the world.”


[exhibit] “Fascination with Fauna: The Portrayal of Animals in Pre-Hispanic Art” 1


While the indigenous cultures of ancient Mexico spoke separate languages, lived in different environments, and operated uniquely as societies, the importance of animals found in their environments is a common thread. Nearly all Pre-Hispanic peoples applied powers to animals, creating religious deities that oversaw aspects of their lives. One of the most highly recognized examples is Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent worshipped as the God of Culture and Knowledge throughout Mexico and Central and South America for millennia.

Pre-Hispanic cultures of Mexico, Central America, and Peru paid homage to animals by reproducing them in art. Visually engaging and historically significant, Fascination with Fauna: The Portrayal of Animals in Pre-Hispanic Art will include vessels used for ceremonial practices and everyday use, pottery that boldly illustrates the immense skill of the native peoples in using animal designs and images, and figurines ranging from about two feet tall to dimensions within less than 5 inches around. These magnificent pieces communicate the celebration of distinct animal capabilities, like the stealth of the jaguar, the graceful agility of the hummingbird, the quickness and cleverness of the coyote, and much more.


[exhibit] “Fascination with Fauna: The Portrayal of Animals in Pre-Hispanic Art” 2


“Fascination with Fauna: The Portrayal of Animals in Pre-Hispanic Art will be a special experience for museum guests from every walk of life,” said Moreno. “This illuminating exhibition underscores why The Mexican Museum is considered a leading voice for the complexity and richness of Mexican, Chicano, and Latin American art, culture and heritage.”

Curators of the Fascination with Fauna: The Portrayal of Animals in Pre-Hispanic Art exhibition also includes Diana Zaragoza and Patricio Davila, a team of archaeologists from Mexico having worked in the field for over 50 years. They serve on the Collections Committee for The Mexican Museum, specializing in Pre-Hispanic Art.

People are encouraged to support the museum by becoming new members. For more information on the exhibition or museum membership, please contact Vanessa Moreno at (415) 202-9700, ext. 224 or vmoreno@mexicanmusem.org.



About The Mexican Museum:

Founded by the well-known San Francisco artist Peter Rodriguez in 1975 in the heart of the Mission District, The Mexican Museum is located at the Fort Mason Center. It is the realization of his vision to present the aesthetic expression of the Mexican and Mexican American people. Today, the museum’s vision has expanded to include the full scope of the Mexican, Chicano, and Latino experience – including the arts, history, and heritage of their respective cultures.

The Mexican Museum, open Thursday – Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. starting December 16, is located at the Fort Mason Center, Building D, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, in San Francisco. Admission is FREE. The Museum offers a wide variety of programs, including Family Sundays, exhibitions, special events, lectures, and public programming throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit: http://www.mexicanmuseum.org or call (415) 202-9700.

February 10 2017


Start: 02/10/2017 @ 12:00 pm
End: 02/17/2017 @ 4:00 pm
Cost: FREE
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Website: Visit Event Website


Mexican Museum

2 Marina Boulevard, Building D
San Francisco, CA United States

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