Unknown Lambayeque artist, north coast of Peru, Gold Mask, 900–1100 CE. Private Collection

Unknown Lambayeque artist, north coast of Peru, Gold Mask, 900–1100 CE. Private Collection


At AS: Exhibition Explores the Myth of El Dorado from the Precolonial Period to Today

The show, which runs until May 18, brings together more than 100 objects and artworks that explore the myth as a foundational narrative of the Americas.

El Dorado: Myths of Gold

Part I: On view from September 6, 2023 through December 16, 2023.

Part II: On view from January 24, 2024 through May 18, 2024.

Lea en español.

August 29, 2023Americas Society presents El Dorado: Myths of Gold, a new exhibition exploring the myth of El Dorado from the pre-Hispanic period to the contemporary era.

The two-part show is co-curated by Aimé Iglesias Lukin, Director and Chief Curator, Art at Americas Society; Tie Jojima, Associate Curator, Manager of Exhibitions, Art at Americas Society; and Edward Sullivan, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of Art History, New York University.

The exhibition includes paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, engravings, and videos that offer new interpretations and questions about the myth. Since Europeans’ invasion of the Americas, rumors spread quickly about a kingdom filled with gold, driving conquistadores to find it. Despite never being found, the mythical El Dorado defined the continent as an empty land up for grabs.

El Dorado: Myths of Gold brings together artworks and artists that engage with the myth to evaluate its continuity into the present, sometimes offering a critical view and a path of resistance.

“Through their use of gold, both physical and metaphorical, the artists in this exhibition emphasize to us the ambivalent power of myth in conditioning who we are as a region, opening space for us to resist extractive systems and to reconsider what we are seeking,” writes the exhibition curatorial team.

Organized in collaboration with Fundación PROA in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Museo Amparo in Puebla (Mexico), the exhibition will take place in two parts: Part I from September through December 2023 and Part II from January through May 2024.

El Dorado: Myths of Gold will be accompanied by a published catalogue and a reader featuring texts about El Dorado by leading scholars. Americas Society will also present a series of public programs, including an academic symposium, in conjunction with the exhibition.

Press contact: mediarelations@as-coa.org

Funders and sponsors

The presentation of El Dorado and related programming has been made possible by generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Additional support was provided by Furthermore, a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.

Americas Society thanks Fundación PROA in Buenos Aires and Museo Amparo in Puebla for their collaboration in this project.

El Dorado: Myths of Gold

The group exhibition on the legend of El Dorado as a foundational myth of the Americas ran from January 24 through May 18, 2024.