The Copan Sculpture Museum in western Honduras features the extraordinary stone carvings of the ancient Maya city known as Copan. The city’s sculptors produced some of the finest and most animated buildings and temples in the Maya area, in addition to stunning monolithic statues and altars. The ruins of Copan were named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980, and more than 150,000 national and international tourists visit the ancient city each year.
Opened in 1996, the Copan Sculpture Museum was initiated as an international collaboration to preserve Copan’s original stone monuments. Its exhibits represent the best-known examples of building façades and sculptural achievements from the ancient kingdom of Copan. The creation of this on-site museum involved people from all walks of life: archaeologists, artists, architects, and local craftspeople. Today it fosters cultural understanding and promotes Hondurans’ identity with the past.
In The Copan Sculpture Museum, Barbara Fash—one of the principle creators of the museum—tells the inside story of conceiving, designing, and building a local museum with global significance. Along with numerous illustrations and detailed archaeological context for each exhibit in the museum, the book provides a comprehensive introduction to the history and culture of the ancient Maya and a model for working with local communities to preserve cultural heritage.
The Copan Sculpture Museum not only gives the reader a scholar's view of conceiving, mapping, and building a museum, it bites your curiosity and makes you want to learn more about the Maya and the people who study them. Barbara Fash gathered an outstanding team around this project, from world-famous archaeologists and epigraphers to local people who loved the project from its inception. This refreshing and informative diary of a wonderful collection and museum reads like an adventure tale and is a lesson for scholars in any time or place.
The Maya site of Copan has long been known for its spectacular stone sculpture. Barbara Fash's new book places these powerful works of art within a fascinating broader cultural context, drawing upon recent advances in archaeological and epigraphic research. Generously illustrated, the volume is accessible to the nonspecialist and indispensable to anyone interested in the art of the ancient Americas.
This excellent book is highly recommended to visitors to the Copan Sculpture Museum and professional scholars alike. It is also a terrific guide to the museum—and so much more. In readily accessible prose, Barbara Fash skillfully uses discussions of the sculpture and architecture of Copan to illuminate important new understandings of the ancient Maya world.
- 216 pages
- 7 x 9 inches
- Peabody Museum Press
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