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Australian Art Exhibitions Museum art gallery exhibiton design NGA National Gallery of Australia Gold and the Incas exhibition masthead

6 December 2013 - 21 April 2014, National Gallery of Australia

Australian Art Exhibitions Museum art gallery exhibiton design NGA National Gallery of Australia Gold and the Incas exhibition funerary attire crown Peru

'Gold and the Incas' was the first survey of ancient Peruvian art staged in this country and featured more than 200 works of art, including gold jewellery and body ornaments, crafted from nuggets beaten almost to the thinness of paper, fine silver, turquoise and shell jewellery, textiles and sculptures.

The exhibition displayed works from the 17 ancient cultures that dominated Peru leading up to the Inca Empire (1400s-1530s), including a 3000-year-old sculpture of a winged deity carrying a severed head, an exquisite gold and turquoise button in the form of an owl's head, and the vividly embroidered textiles used to wrap mummies.

 

With 20 works from the NGA’s collection, the remainder of the exhibition was drawn exclusively from Peruvian collections, including the Museo Nacional de Arqueologia, Antropologia e Historia del Peru and its fraternal collections, the Museo Larco, the Amano Museum and the Museo Oro del Peru. 

This Golden Funerary Attire would have been worn by a major leader of the Sicán-Lambayeque culture, North coast Peru 750 – 1375 AD

Crown 750-1375 AD Museo Oro del Perú, Lima

Crown ornament 900-1100 AD Museo Nacional Sicán, Ferreñafe
Pair of ear ornaments 750-1375 AD Museo Oro del Perú, Lima

Banner decoration 900-1100 AD Museo Nacional Sicán, Ferreñafe

With the support of the Yulgilbar Foundation the Incas Family Activity Room was double in size and attracted over 28,000 visitors with its interactive children’s experiences relating to the ancient cultures of Peru. 

Gold and the Incas: Lost worlds of Peru attracted 160,647 visitors and was the 5th highest attended exhibition in the previous 13 years. 68% of visitors travelled from interstate to Canberra to see the exhibition, injecting an estimated $33.5 million into the ACT economy.

Australian Art Exhibitions Museum art gallery exhibiton design NGA National Gallery of Australia Gold and the Incas exhibition Andres Alvarez-Calderon Museo Larco

One of the main lenders to the exhibition, Andres Alvarez-Calderon, Director, Museo Larco said "This is one of the best Peruvian exhibitions I have seen abroad.

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