Journey to the Country of Gods. Mexico. Monuments
of the Past
On 23 July, 2002, an exhibition opened in two grand halls of the Winter
Palace, Nicholas Hall and Anteroom (NN191,192). The exhibition is dedicated
to the art of Mesoamerica, an area covering most of Mexico and Central
The show includes over 270 exhibits from 16 museums of Mexico including
the country's largest National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
The exhibition is organized jointly with the Mexican Ministry of Culture
and Nieuwe Kerk Foundation (Amsterdam), in cooperation with CONACULTA-INAH,
with the support of the Embassy of the United Mexican States in the Russian
Federation and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United Mexican
States and the companies AON Artscope, Fortis Bank, Buhrmann, Nederlandse
Spoorwegen, KPMG, Getronics and Stichting DOEN. In March 2002 the exhibition
was showed in Nieuwe Kerk International Exhibition Center.
Alongside exhibits loaned by Mexican museums, the Russian version of the
show contains 9 artifacts from the Hermitage collection including the
world famous masterpiece, Aztec golden breast decoration in the form of
an eagle warrior, also known as the "Aztec Bell".
The exhibition shows ceramic, stone and golden works created from the
2nd millenium BC to 1521 (conquest of Mexico by Hernan Cortes) by the
civilizations of Olmecs, Mayas, Aztecs, Totonacs, Mishtecs, Sapotecs and
West Mexican peoples.
Unlike the traditional organization of exhibitions of this kind according
to ages, cultures and regions, this exhibition is divided into the following
sections: Gods, Rituals, Ball Play (ending in loser's execution), Rulers,
Everyday Life, Animals and Plants, etc. This system of organization reveals
the kinship of the cultures of Mexico and Central America.
Sergei Eisenstein's film Mexican Fantasy showed in connection with the
exhibition was not finished by its author in the 1930s. It was finally
completed and issued in 1998 by producer Oleg Kovalev and provided specially
for the Hermitage exhibition by STV Film Company, St. Petersburg.
Mrs. Sari Bermudez, President, Mexican National Council for Culture and
St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev and State Hermitage Director
Mikhail Piotrovsky opening the exhibition
At the opening of the exhibition
At the exhibition