Department of Art and Art History Calendar

Art History Lecture Series presents Dorie Reents-Budet

Maya artifact vessel with imagery of lords in palace
750-790 CE, Lake Petén-Itzá area, Guatemala. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, promised gift of Landon and Lavinia Clay

Living Art in the Classic Maya Court

The production and use of beautiful objects was integral to ancient Maya life, among both the elite and the not-so-elite. Thus, the study of form, function, audience, narrative content, audience, patronage, and fabrication practices touches on seminal issues concerning Classic Maya civilization (250-900 CE). The talk surveys these primary topics with a focus on the pictorial ceramics which define the Classic Period and distinguish ancient Maya art in the broader field of world art history. The talk also addresses the critical issues of collecting Pre-columbian art and the preservation of cultural patrimony.

Dorie Reents-Budet is curator of the arts of the ancient Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. She also has been a consulting curator at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), the Dayton Art Institute, Casa K’inich in Copán, Honduras, and the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. She has held art history and anthropology faculty positions at The Johns Hopkins University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Reents-Budet is the art historian for the Maya Ceramics Project, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, and has been a Consulting Scholar at the University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in Maya ceramic studies, combining data and analytical approaches from the fields of art history, archaeology, and nuclear geo-chemistry. She is the author of papers, books and exhibition catalogs focusing on the art and culture history of the ancient Americas and on modern native arts of the Americas.

The lecture is co-sponsored by The Mesoamerica Center, the Department of Anthropology, and the Department of Art and Art History.