The Walters Art Museum shows Ancient Americas Artwork from the John Bourne Collection

artwork: This belt adornment is cast with the image of the Decapitator deity. - Ron Messick Fine Arts, [date of acquisition unknown]; John G. Bourne, 1990s,  by purchase.  Promised gift of John Bourne, Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum. On view in "Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection Gift" until May 20th.


Baltimore, Maryland.- The Walters Art Museum is proud to present “Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection Gift” on view at the museum from February 12th through May 20th. The exhibition contains 135 artworks from cultures that rose and fell in Mexico, Central America and Andean South America from 1200 B.C.–A.D. 1530. Drawn from the collection of John Bourne recently gifted to the Walters, this exhibition expresses each culture’s distinctive aesthetics, worldview and spiritual ideologies. Bourne became enamored of the creative expressiveness of the Maya-and of all peoples of the ancient Americas – perceiving the works as equal to any artistic tradition in the world.
This exhibition features selections from collector John Bourne, who was among the initial explorers to probe deep into the hilly jungles of southern Mexico. Traveling with adventurer Carlos (Herman Charles) Frey and photographer Giles Healy, they were among the first Westerners to visit Bonampak, the now famous Maya site celebrated for its three-roomed royal building whose interior walls are covered with murals recording a battle and public rituals concerning royal political history at the site during the eighth century.