The Incas, Treasures of Peru
November 27, 2019 to April 13, 2020
With its aura of mystery, the Inca civilization evokes a world of dreams. Although the Incas are a greatly admired society, what do we really know about them? How important were they to the history of the Americas? While their domination in the region of the Andean Mountains lasted less than a hundred years (from 1450 to 1532), they managed to build one of the most extensive and tightly controlled empires the world has ever known. Their territory spread from Ecuador to Peru, Bolivia and half of present-day Chile. To build this empire, they made admirable use of technical knowledge and developments of the pre-Columbian civilizations that preceded them to make their own artistic, economic, political and social advances. Their influence was so vast that not even the brutal Spanish Conquest could erase all traces of Inca traditions, which endure today in some contemporary art practices. The Incas were at once the heirs and bequeathers of some of the most fertile customs and exquisite craftsmanship in the world.
This Pointe-à-Callière exhibition invites you to explore the captivating world of the Incas and Andean culture – mainly that of Peru – from prehistory to the contemporary era. Trek through the Andean mountains and valleys and admire the remarkable flora and fauna of this exceptional place. Learn about the rites and many skills in agriculture, ceramics, metallurgy, sculpture and weaving of different pre-Inca civilizations that all had a major influence on Inca culture.
At the heart of the exhibition, discover the splendour of the Incas, their social organization, and their incredible artistic achievements. Admire the impressive beauty of gold and silver work along with ornaments and jewelry, vases, funerary masks and ritual objects, clothing and accessories, and magnificent feather and textile pieces with inspiring motifs that come from major European collections. Nearly 300 pieces in total will let visitors appreciate the remarkable pre-Inca and Inca civilizations and their influence on the colonial, post-colonial and contemporary periods.
Thanks to museography that thrusts you into a meaningful world, you can admire these objects in context and get an immersive experience that engages your senses and emotions. Whether through projections or videos representing a cotton field, mural paintings of the Huaca La Luna, architectural elements that recall an Inca city, or a contemporary market, you will get the full experience of the Incas’ immense cultural heritage.
The exhibition, The Incas, Treasures of Peru is produced by Pointe-à-Callière with the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels.