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Kimbell to showcases Maya sculpturesApril 12, 2013
By A. Lee Graham
The Kimbell Art Museum has acquired two rare Maya Palenque-style ceramic censer stands.
Dated to about A.D. 690--720, the exhibit pieces – Censer Stand with the Head of the Jaguar God of the Underworld and Censer Stand with the Head of a Supernatural Being with a Kan Cross – will be on display in the museum’s permanent collection beginning Sunday April 21.
Admission to the north galleries exhibit is free.
Very few Palenque-style ceramic censer stands are displayed in either U.S. public or private collections, according to museum officials.
"The sculptures' monumental scale and wealth of symbolic detail command the viewer's attention," Museum Director Eric M. Lee said, commenting in a news release. "I foresee these works quickly becoming hallmarks of our already choice collection of Maya art."
Since their importation into the U.S. from Mexico in 1968, the two censers have been in private collections in Europe and the U.S. From 1985 to 1999, they were on view in the galleries of the Detroit Institute of Arts, as a long-term loan.
The stands’ craftsmanship is indicative of Palenque, a major Maya city-state located in current-day Chiapas, Mexico, which flourished in the seventh century. Ceramic censers were part of ritual paraphernalia and ceremonial life at Palenque.
The Kimbell Art Museum, owned and operated by the Kimbell Art Foundation, showcases collections ranging in period from antiquity to the 20th century and including European masterpieces by artists such as Michelangelo, Monet and Picasso; collections of Egyptian and classical antiquities; and Asian, Mesoamerican and African art. More information is available at www.kimbellart.org