Review by Choice Review

This illustrated catalog was prepared by a team of Mexican and Dutch scholars for an exhibition of 250 pre-Columbian objects from Mexican collections, shown at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, March through June 2002. It is presented as a kind of primer about Mesoamerican art and society ranging from the Olmecs to the Aztecs, but for such a purpose one is better served by an introductory work like Mary Ellen Miller's The Art of Mesoamerica (3rd ed., 2001), which covers the essential subject of architecture as well as the other visual arts and is not limited, as in this case, to exhibitable sculpture. However, this well-produced, large format book with excellent illustrations also contains six short, thought-provoking introductory essays, such as Rudolf van Zantwijk's on the interconnected belief systems in Mesoamerica, or Miguel Leon Portilla's piece on the Nahuatl or Aztec conception of art, which finds kindred ideas about the origin of art in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound and the divine gifts of the plumed serpent, Quetzalcoatl. General readers; graduate students; faculty and researchers. C. W. Talbot Trinity University

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