Eat, Pray, Weave: Ancient Peruvian Art from the Nasher Collection
At the Nasher Museum (September 15, 2012 - January 13, 2013)

This exhibition highlights the Nasher Museum’s vast collection of Pre-Columbian art, focusing on works from the region that is present-day Peru in the South American Andes. Many of these are 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 January 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 explores 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 create 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 are 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.

IMAGE: Nazca, Plate, 100-300. Ceramic, polychrome, 1 3/8 x 5 13/16 x 5 13/16 inches (3.5 x 14.7 x 14.7 cm). Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. The Paul A. and Virginia Clifford Collection, 1973.1.448.