Bursts of bright light danced across the royal courts, ceremonies, processions and battlefields of pre-Columbian Peru. Reflected by the gold and silver of crowns, jewelry, regalia, costumes and banners, such luminosity proclaimed the divine power and authority of Andean priests and rulers for nearly 2,500 years. Despite the 16th century Spanish Conquest, the importance of the reflective properties, and divine qualities traditionally associated with gold and silver, were not forgotten. New techniques were developed to satisfy the novel demands of the Catholic Church and colonial elite. Later, Peruvian Independence inaugurated a revival of the indigenous use of silver, and the introduction of a new style of silverware celebrating the country’s distinct flora and fauna.
Luminescence: the Silver of Perú traces the long history of silverwork and the fascination with the metal’s divine and luminescent qualities. It will display pre-Columbian works to those made by contemporary artists, including national treasures seldom seen outside of Peru. The exhibition is curated by MOA Director Dr. Anthony Shelton, and made possible through the generous support of the Pan American Silver Corp. and the Patronato Plata del Peru.