City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan

Exhibition Overview


Standing Figurine, Feathered Serpent Pyramid
Standing Figurine, Feathered Serpent Pyramid (Offering 2), Mexico, Teotihuacan, 200–250

The ancient city of Teotihuacan flourished in central Mexico in the first millennium CE. This multi-ethnic, cosmopolitan city was the largest urban center in the Americas in its day. City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan presents recent findings from Mexican national and international archaeological projects excavating at Teotihuacan's three main pyramids—the Sun, Moon, and the Feathered Serpent—and major residential compounds. These discoveries have fundamentally changed our understanding of the city’s history.

City and Cosmos focuses both on the main pyramids and residential compounds to explore the central question of how the city worked to create a cohesive civic identity. Featuring both monumental sculptures and buried offerings, the exhibition also emphasizes how artworks relate to place, both above and below ground. New discoveries reveal that both visible and buried works were arranged in specific ways to commemorate the city’s ancestral foundations and to forge relationships with vital, essential forces such as fire and water.

Organized in collaboration with Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), City and Cosmos will provide visitors an extraordinary opportunity to see the new discoveries, many of which have never been exhibited in the United States.

(Photo: Standing Figurine, Feathered Serpent Pyramid (Offering 2), Mexico, Teotihuacan, 200–250, Museo Nacional de Antropología/INAH (10-485), Archivo Digital de las Colecciones del Museo Nacional de Antropología/INAH-CANON)

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