About: Claire Lyons

I joined the Department of Antiquities as curator two years ago, after spending quite a few years as a curator for history of archaeology at the Getty Research Institute. There I built collections relating to the rediscovery of antiquity in different world traditions, including Mexico. My PhD is actually in classical archaeology, with a focus on Magna Graecia—the Greek colonial areas of southern Italy and Sicily. This background helped me appreciate the parallels with colonial New Spain. The finds being made in Mexico City are an archaeologist's dream, and having been bitten by the Aztec "bug," I will absolutely find good reasons to continue research and travels there.

Posts by Claire

Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Curating The Aztec Pantheon

Tzitzimitl (Demon), Aztec, 1440–69, found near the Templo Mayor, Mexico City. Terracotta, stucco, and pigment, 176 x 80 x 50 cm. Museo del Templo Mayor, Mexico City. CONACULTA-INAH-MEX © foto zabé. Reproduction authorized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History
Tzitzimitl (Demon), Aztec, 1440–69, found near the Templo Mayor, Mexico City. Terracotta, stucco, and pigment, 176 x 80 x 50 cm. Museo del Templo Mayor, Mexico City. CONACULTA-INAH-MEX © foto zabé. Reproduction authorized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History

The premise of The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire is a unique one: that just as classical antiquity colored Spanish perceptions of Mesoamerica, the experience of Aztec civilization piqued curiosity about Renaissance Europe’s own ancient heritage. As curators,… More»

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      Olympian Census #3: Poseidon

      Get the stats on your favorite (and not-so-favorite) gods and goddesses on view at the Getty Center.

      Roman name: Neptune

      Employment: God of the Sea

      Place of residence: A fancy palace somewhere in the Aegean Sea

      Parents: Cronus and Rhea

      Marital status: Married to Amphitrite, a sea goddess, but had many affairs just like his brother Zeus

      Offspring: Had many children including Triton, Theseus, Orion, Polyphemos and Arion

      Symbol: Trident, horse, and dolphin

      Special talent: Starting earthquakes & Shapeshifting into a horse to pursue women

      Highlights reel:

      • When Goddess Demeter turned into a mare to escape Poseidon’s pursuit, Poseidon also turned into a horse and mated with her, creating a talking horse baby, Arion.
      • Athena became the patron goddess of Athens over Poseidon by giving the city an olive tree, which produced wood, oil, and food. Poseidon had given them a salt-water spring. Nice going, Poseidon.
      • Poseidon cursed Olysseus to wander the seas for 10 years after the Trojan War in revenge for Olysseus blinding his son, the cyclops Poplyphemos.

      Olympian Census is a 12-part series profiling gods in art at the Getty Center.

      07/27/15

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