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Art and Myth in Ancient Peru: The History of the Jequetepeque Valley

September 13, 2010 to October 23, 2010


Guest Curator: Cecilia Pardo Grau, Museo de Arte de Lima

This exhibition organized by the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI) presented an important selection of pre-Columbian objects that span from the time of the Cupisnique Culture to the Inca conquest. The pieces exhibited were produced in the Jequetepeque Valley of Peru for over 3,000 years. This region maintained a unique character, which distinguished it from other areas along the northern coast.

At different times in its history, the Jequetepeque Valley formed part of the Mochica, Lambayeque, and Chimú states, and finally, of the Inca Empire. The societies that flourished there maintained certain autonomy with respect to these great developments. Their social organization and pottery styles thus preserved specific and differentiated cultural characteristics and represent a system of beliefs based on a universe of images and symbols that are expressed in the pieces exhibited, many of which are considered masterpieces of pre-Columbian art.

This unique exhibition featured pieces from the Oscar Rodriguez Razzetto Collection in Pacasmayo, recently acquired by MALI, complemented by artifacts from recent archeological excavations in the Jequetepeque Valley. Together, they provide an overview of the valley’s development over time and bring new meaning to the pieces by focusing on the region, contributing important and innovative scholarship on the subject.

This exhibition is presented by Americas Society in collaboration with the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI).

Americas Society gratefully acknowledges the following donors for their generous support of this exhibition: ING and AFP Integra, Hunt Oil Company of Peru, Ilender Peru, S.A., Conduit Capital Partners, LLC, and Arias Resource Capital Management LP.


We are also grateful for the generous collaboration of the Permanent Mission of Peru to the United Nations.

The Visual Arts Program is also supported in part by Sharon Schultz Simpson and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.