158 Mesoamerican artifacts were on display (for the first time) within the Mexican community. The ancient Mexican pieces are from the collection of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Many local artists were also commissioned to paint murals depicting life in ancient Mexico. Artists included: Mario Castillo, Sal Vega, Marcos Raya and Francisco Mendoza. This landmark exhibition was the museum’s response to the 500-year anniversary of the encounter of two worlds. In honor of Mexico’s fifty-six indigenous groups and all the Native Americans from the Eskimos in Alaska to the various indigenous groups in the Amazon RainForest, who have steadfastly refused to have their traditions destroyed and have persevered to maintain their cultural heritage against incredible odds, we dedicated this exhibit. This exhibit focused on the following indigenous cultures - The Aztecs, Maya, Toltecs, Zapotecs, Teotihuacanos, Huastecs, Mixtecs, Olmecs, Matlazincas, Totonacs, P’urepechas, the state of Guerrero, and Western Mexico. The ancient Mexicans derived their knowledge of the universe from their everyday observation of nature. The Mexicans saw the universe as a continuous life-death-rebirth cycle. From this concept of constant renewal and duality, the four directions of the universe, and their relationship to nature and the heavens, were derived and together they formed - La Visión del Cosmos/A Vision of the Cosmos.
Donald McVicker, Ph.D. and Laurene Lambertino
Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum
Main Gallery and West Wing Gallery