Peru: a journey in time ★★★★ The British Museum | Nov 11, 2021 - Feb 20, 2022


There is more to Peru than Machu Picchu! Important as the Incas were, this small but extremely informative exhibition also highlights earlier cultures such as the Chavin, Paracas, Nasca, Chimu and Moche peoples. Organised with the Museo de Arte de Lima and featuring works from other Peruvian lenders, the exhibition's over one hundred objects provide a wonderful teaser introducing the fantastic art of lesser known civilisations while also touching on the two great empires of the Inca and the Wari. The quality of the work is simply stunning. The pottery and textiles created by these peoples is both fascinating and beautifully preserved. The depiction of faces and activities put us in touch with a worldview that was quite different from our own while, revealing a common humanity which cannot help but touch the visitor. The display is organised around the concepts of time and the environment which were approached quite differently from our current interpretation. These peoples saw past, present and future as contemporaneous and did not recognise a division between themselves and the natural world. There is so much we can learn about ourselves, the limits of our own civilisation and the cultures of Peru here. The British Museum and its partners have put together a small gem of exhibition which is beautifully curated and will reward all those who stop by to peruse it.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Image: Gold earrings depicting feline features, Peru, 800-550 BC. Courtesy of Museo Kuntur Wasi.

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