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, Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, technology

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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      Messages on a Bottle

      Around the body in a very swirly script it reads “Pan e vin e va cantando” or “Bread and wine and merriment.” 

      On the bottom of the bottle an inscription adds, “kan’t Brood en […] Wijn niet doen? Wat Zouts kan’t Mael vergoên” or “If bread and wine fail to do so, a little pinch of salt can save a meal.”

      Calligraphy was a common hobby of the wealthy in the northern Netherlands in the mid-1600s. This bottle’s designer, Willem Jacobsz van Heemskerk, signed his name in more fancy lettering.

      05/03/16

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