Xochipala: Salvaging a Looted Culture and Its Art

Leveraging new scientific analyses, available (but limited) archaeological data, and unique historical records held at Princeton, this lecture provides a fresh consideration of the art style known as Xochipala. This material was looted from the region around a modern village of the same name in Guerrero, Mexico, beginning in the nineteenth century but with heightened intensity in the 1960s and later. The looting irreparably destroyed the objects’ original contexts, resulting in decades of speculative and imaginative interpretation. Bryan Just, Peter Jay Sharp, Class of 1952, Curator and Lecturer in the Art of the Ancient Americas, will provide new insights and a frank assessment of what has been lost through clandestine pillaging.