The Seeds of Divinity is curated by Antonia Foias, Chair and Professor of Anthropology together with her Anthropology 281 class, Hadley DesMeules’16, and curator of Mellon academic programs Elizabeth Gallerani. Exhibition design by David Gürçay-Morris, Associate Professor of Theatre. This exhibition included generous loans from the Worcester Art Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery.
Pre-Columbian civilizations in Central America used the human body as a prism for understanding and depicting the supernatural. Artworks from the era portray a human head emerging from the jaws of a monster, the transformation of bodies into divine beings, and passage into the afterlife. Objects from five Mesoamerican civilizations—Maya, Teotihuacán, Nayarit, Zapotec, and Aztec—explore the spiritual and the sacred, plumbing the mutable line between humans, gods, and animals.
The Seeds of Divinity exhibition grew from a robust, three-year collaboration with the Worcester Art Museum (WAM), designed to leverage the strength of WAM’s collections together with WCMA’s capacity in working with faculty and students to teach with art objects and develop exhibitions based in primary research.