Past Exhibitions / Eat, Pray, Weave: Ancient Peruvian Art from the Collection

September 15, 2012 - January 13, 2013

This exhibition highlighted the Nasher Museum’s collection of Pre-Columbian art, focusing on works from Peru in the South American Andes. Many of these came from the collection of Paul and Virginia Clifford, enthusiasts of Pre-Columbian art who donated more than 800 works to the former Duke University Museum of Art in 1973. On view for the first time in many years, these objects exemplify the sophisticated material culture that flourished among the Paracas, Nasca, Moche, Chimú and Chancay peoples who pre-dated or ultimately succumbed to the Inca Empire.

Organized thematically, this exhibition explored how the peoples of these Andean cultures lived: how they dressed, what they ate, what they believed in and how they honored their dead. Richly colored textiles, animal-shaped vessels, elaborate body adornments and intriguing burial masks created a powerful visual narrative of life in the Andes between 300 BCE and the arrival of the Spanish in 1532. As a counterpoint, these works of art were accompanied by books on loan from Duke’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which describe and illustrate European perspectives of the New World inhabitants.

Eat, Pray, Weave: Ancient Peruvian Art from the Collection is online with detailed descriptions at for use on your smart phone or tablet.