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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      From you have I been absent in the spring,
      When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
      Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
      Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
      Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
      Could make me any summer’s story tell,
      Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
      Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
      Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
      They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
      Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
      As with your shadow I with these did play.

      —William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

      Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      04/23/14

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