Visiting the Getty Research Institute

Contact Information:
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive
Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
Tel. (310) 440-7335
Getty Research Institute Gallery Hours:
Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Closed Mondays and on January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving, and December 25
Research Library Hours:
9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays, Sundays, major U.S. holidays, November 26, December 27–December 31
Reference Desk: (310) 440-7390

This exhibition explores representations of Mexican archaeological objects and sites made from the Colonial era to the present.

From the first moments of contact, Mexico's indigenous civilizations evoked in their European conquerors an array of unsettling emotions ranging from fascination to fear. Eradicating populations, destroying monuments, suppressing native religions, and collecting and classifying cultural objects were among the methods used for containing and framing native cultures. Pre-Columbian Mexico, real and imagined, became the subject of innumerable books, treatises, and images. Each iteration assigned new meanings and contributed to the ever-evolving construction of ancient Mexico.

The objects in this exhibition were created over the past five centuries by explorers, archaeologists, and artists who have in one way or another used Mexico's Pre-Columbian past as a vehicle for their journeys. Each object is informed by the time and place in which it was made. None are pure reflections of the sites or artifacts they portray. All produce refractions, slices of an object that cannot be reassembled into a whole. As such, they are all mirrors that displace the time and space of ancient Mexico.