Art, Monuments, and Power in Native American Cultures Before 1500
Ruling elites have always wanted to show their power through monuments and artworks that celebrate their grandeur and exalted status. This Dialogues seminar examines the linkage between power and monumental art in the societies that flourished long before 1500 C.E. in places that are now within the southeastern United States and Mexico. How did the powerful rulers in these societies proclaim their power through the buildings, landscapes, sculptures, and artistic rituals that they commissioned across the territories they controlled? How did they use objects and monuments to align themselves and their people with divine actors or creation narratives? We’ll explore such questions with an art historian and archaeologist as we discuss how rulers proclaim their power and how monumental art contributes to complex political systems.