Four Trips to Antiquity: Adventures of an Artist in Maya Ruined Cities

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9781879691049: Four Trips to Antiquity: Adventures of an Artist in Maya Ruined Cities
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Four Trips to Antiquity: Adventures of an Artist in Maya Ruined Cities narrates an artist's search through Central America for the form which inheres in ancient Maya sculpture. Initially commissioned by the Limited Editions Club of New York to illustrate the Popol Vuh, an ancient Quiche Maya manuscript, renowned artist and illustrator Everett Gee Jackson traveled to Chichicastenango in the Guatemalan highlands in 1952. He then went on to Copan, Honduras, to draw in the magnificent, partially restored ruins there. This experience turned into a quest of the spirit in which Jackson became increasingly absorbed in the different, more meditative rhythms of an older civilization. Approaching the stone carvings with the eye of an artist, Jackson communicates what it means to "see" through to the inner structure of the highly accomplished ancient art which had come to fascinate him. The artist then returned to Copan in 1954, this time with San Diego State University anthropologist and Trustee of the Museum of Man, Dr. Spencer L. Rogers. With no commission to illustrate, Jackson now was able to focus exclusively on the object of his fascination, immersing himself primarily in the enduring stone stelae in the Great North Court. Jackson's third trip took place in 1962. It brought him via Costa Rica to the ruins of Tikal in Guatemala, then on again to Copan. His final trip to Copan was in 1978, at which time he noticed considerable civic development and other changes which had come about over time. Told in humorous and incisive fashion, the tale of these four trips to antiquity challenges the reader to consider the subject of sculpture not as "art" but as a doorway to the heart.

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