Andean Gallery Reinstallation

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Ceramic vessel in the shape of a human figure with a red-faced mask atop his head.
Figural Stirrup Vessel, Moche, 100-700 CE, North Coast, Peru, earthenware with slip. The Fred Olsen Collection. 1967-29-225


silver tray with three cups and a figure of a man turning a spit upon which hangs a basket. The surface of the metal looks hammmered by hand. The posts and lintel of the spit are hollow, as though they've been rolled.
Model Depicting the Manufacture of Chicha, Lambayeque or Chimu, North Coast, Peru, 1100-1470 CE. Silver-copper alloy. The Fred Olsen Collection. 1967-29-304

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A cylindrical, closed pottery drum made of light brown clay. It has a bulbous middle and conical top and is decorated with black and red slip with fanciful figures that seem to dance and play music.
Drum, Paracas, 900-100 BCE, South Coast, Peru. Earthenware with slip. The Fred Olsen Collection. 1967-29-28.

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Open-weave white cotton lace over a red cloth background. The lace features rows of large-eyed walking birds with bent legs and large, triangular tails. Between them and above/below each row, threads have been pulled to create transparent patterns.
Textile Fragment, possibly Chancay, 1100-1470 CE, North-Central Coast, Peru. Cotton. The Fred Olsen Collection. 1967-29-281.


A sheet of brilliant gold, pounded flat and pierced to create a pattern around the edges and in the center. This is one of several and is a funerary object.
Gold Ornament, Wari, 600-1100 CE, North-Central Coast, Peru. Gold alloy. The Fred Olsen Collection. 1967-29-460.

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Vessel in the shape of a human head. The face and head dress are colored with red and black lacquer paint. The ears and nose and chin protrude to give it a 3-dimensional appearance. The neck of the cup is geometrically patterned.
Kero, Colonial Inca, 18th c. Wood with lacquer paint. The Fred Olsen Collection. 1967-29-403.

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Medium brown ceramic vessel shaped like a bent elbow. Two clay birds sit on either side of a spout in the shape of a head with ear spools and headdress. The spout comes out of the hat and is right above the elbow. Below it is a grimacing dog.
Vessel in the form of an arm, Recuay, 200-700 CE, Northern Highlands, Peru. Earthenware with slip. The Fred Olsen Collection. 1967-29-62.


On view
Sep 26, 2024 to Jul 5, 2025
Lower Level, Andean Gallery

Krannert Art Museum‘s major reinstallation of its pre-Hispanic Andean arts collection will center past Andean communities as active agents in the creation of their own art histories. Comprising over 700 objects, the KAM collection includes exquisite textiles, ceramics, and objects fashioned in gold, silver, wood, and shell from cultures that flourished throughout the coastal and highland regions of Peru from 1500 BCE to the Spanish colonial period.

Growing out of a partnership between KAM, the U of I’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), and the Andean Archaeology research group at UIC, plans for the reinstallation and development of its conceptual framework have been highly collaborative, taking shape through a series of interdisciplinary workshops involving Andean studies colleagues from across campus, the Midwest, and in Peru. Departing from conventional museum presentations that segregate Andean objects into static silos of culture, period, and region, the new installation will reframe narratives of the Andean past by highlighting the dynamic transcultural networks of knowledge and power through which Andean artists visually animated the natural, spiritual, and political worlds.

Equally important, the presence of Andean archeological holdings in US museums requires us to engage not only the indigenous histories of these objects, but also the fraught histories of their transformation into global commodities looted from ancient burial sites. By tracing the biographies of these objects as fragments abducted from their contexts of origin, the exhibition will explicitly address the destructive histories of looting that brought these objects to KAM.

The project also seeks to be reparative by actively engaging with Peruvian colleagues and descendant communities through the co-creation of an interactive digital platform that will allow students, scholars, and communities in Peru to have remote access to the exhibition and to participate in the research and interpretation of their own cultural heritage. Presented in Spanish, Quechua and English, the platform will deepen object biographies with multimedia applications designed to bring past and present Andean voices into conversation. Offering innovative learning opportunities for campus, public schools, and the growing Latinx communities throughout central Illinois, the reinstallation will invite visitors to ask new questions about the life histories of these objects, and the ethical responsibilities of the museum as we reckon with their displacement, interpretation, and care.


Project Consultants and Collaborators


Mario Advincula, Project Director of the Vilcashuaman – La Centinela Route of the Qhapac Ñan Project

Val Arboniés Flores, Doctoral Student in School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Augusto Bazan, Director of Research for the Wiese Foundation – El Brujo Archaeological Complex

Brian Bauer, Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)

Kainen Bell, doctoral student, School of Information Sciences, UIUC

Sue Bergh, Art Historian and Curator of Pre-Columbian collection and Native North American collections, Cleveland Museum of Art

Corey Bowen, Doctoral Student in Department of Anthropology, UIC

Claudia Brosseder, Associate Professor of History, UIUC

Sofia Chalcatana, Associate Professor at the Jesuit University Antonio Ruiz de Montoya

Anita Chan, Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences and Department of Media and Cinema Studies

Elizabeth Cruzado, Doctoral Candidate in Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University

Carolyn Dean, Distinguished Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture, UC Santa Cruz

Anna Maria Escobar, Professor of Sociolinguistics, UIUC

Eliana Gamarra Carrillo, Archeologist, Translator, and Repatriation Specialist

Andrew Hamilton, Curator of the Arts of the Americas at the Art Institute of Chicago

Carmela Alacron Ledesma, Co-Director for the Huanangue Valley Archaeology Project

Carlos Molinas-Vital, Linguist and Instructor of Quechua at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, UIUC

Andrew Orta, Professor of Anthropology, UIUC

Helaine Silverman, Professor of Anthropology, UIUC

Richard Sutter, Professor of Anthropology, Purdue University

Ashley Vance, Doctoral Student Department of Anthropology, UIC

Rosa Varillias, Doctoral Student, Department of Anthropology, UIC

Mary Weismantel, Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Chair of Latin American Studies at Northwestern University

Ryan Williams, Associate Curator and Head of Anthropology, the Field Museum and UIC


Co-curated by Allyson Purpura, Senior Curator and Curator of Global African Art; and Kasia Szremski, Associate Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Research and development of KAM’s Andean gallery reinstallation has been generously supported by a grant from the U of I Presidential Initiative to Celebrate the Arts and Humanities. Made possible in part by a grant from the U. S. Institute of Museum and Library Services/Este proyecto ha sido posible en parte por el Instituto de Servicios de Museos y Bibliotecas de los EEUU. Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom*. Major support provided by the Helen Frankenthaler Climate Initiative. Additional funding provided by the Rosann Gelvin Noel Krannert Art Museum Fund.


*Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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