Thursday, September 15, 2011
Out and About: Exhibits - Maya: De l'aube au crépuscule
The lighting is low and dramatic, as the French tend to do. It helps focus on the artwork. Plus the dimness embodies the mystical aura that surrounds these artifacts, as well as the lack of knowledge we still have of the ancient civilization that produced them. Jade, obsidian, mother-of-pearl shine in the lighting, jumping out from the clay and stone in which they’re set. Ancient pigments made from leaves and berries cling still to artwork sculpted centuries ago, some back as far as 2000 B.C.
This was explained near the end of the exhibit, in one of the wall panels telling you what you’re looking at. All texts are in both French and English (the latter always coming out slightly shorter, but not because any information is left out). There are also audio-guides available which give you even more information, and they’re in many different languages.
The exhibit includes three short videos to give more background, all three in English with French subtitles. One was about deciphering the Mayan glyphs, with a spotlight on their calendar and its accuracy. Another was on the excavation of Mayan ruins. The last was on the Mayan people today, who still make up 55% of Guatemala’s population.
Makes me want to book a flight to Guatemala. Maybe during the next Michigan winter.
Until October 2
Musée du Quai Branly
37 quai Branly
Métro: Alma-Marceau, Bir-Hakeïm or RER C - Pont d’Alma
11 am to 7 or 9 pm. Closed Mondays
Entrance fee: € 6 and 8.50
More information at: