Art historian Mary Miller, a specialist in the art of ancient civilizations in what is now known as the Americas, discusses her scholarship on Maya time and memorials. The so-called “Mayan Apocalypse” of late 2012 brought immense curiosity to the topic of Maya calendars, but is just one example of the ancient Maya attention to time. How does this attention to time make itself visible on the painted wall or the carved stone? Does mastery of calendars shape the outcome of works of art? How did the Maya of the first millennium develop the memorial, keeping time of the past, present, to future generations? Can time be experienced, witnessed, heard, or placed in ancient Maya art? Using painting and sculpture to respond to these questions, Miller will explore both modern and Maya time across two millennia.
Mary Miller, Sterling Professor of History of Art, just ended a five-year term as Dean of Yale College. She curated The Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya in 2004 and wrote the catalogue of the same title with Simon Martin of the University of Pennsylvania Museum. In 2009, her essay on George Kubler, "Shaped Time," appeared in Art Journal; her book, The Aztec Calendar Stone, co-edited with Khristaan Villela, was published in 2010. Among her other books are The Murals of Bonampak, The Blood of Kings (with Linda Schele), The Art of Mesoamerica, Maya Art and Architecture, The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya (with Karl Taube), and A Pre-Columbian World (co-edited with Jeffrey Quilter). Her new work on Bonampak, The Spectacle of the Late Maya Court, co-authored with Claudia Brittenham, has been recently published by the University of Texas Press. Miller earned her A.B. from Princeton and her Ph.D. from Yale.
For her work on ancient Mexico and the Maya, Miller has won national recognition including a Guggenheim Fellowship. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994. In April and May of 2010 she delivered the A. W. Mellon lectures at the National Gallery of Art. She is scheduled to deliver the Slade Lectures at Cambridge University during the academic year 2014-2015.
Please join us for a reception immediately following the lecture.