Transformation: Art of the Americas

October 27, 2018–October 06, 2019

Transformation features approximately 20 works from indigenous American cultures, dating from
1200 bce to 1500 ce, that illustrate the metamorphosis of body and spirit.

People of the indigenous Americas radically modified their bodies in the belief that altering their physical selves would transform them into deities and supernatural beings. The objects on view, including gold jewelry, stone sculptures, musical instruments, and a painted ceramic burial urn, powerfully illustrate a fundamental worldview of the ancient Americas: that states of being—human, animal, and divine—were fluid and interchangeable.