January 12, 2013 Princeton University Art Museum

Bryan R. Just, PhD,  the Peter Jay Sharp, Class of 1952, Curator and Lecturer in the Art of the Ancient Americas, Princeton University Art Museum, provided a Glyph Group talk concerning Ik' Kingdom vases and  a gallery talk of the Exhibit "Dancing into Dreams: Maya Vase Painting of the Ik’ Kingdom."

    The exhibit, which remains on display at the Princeton University Art Museum through February, 2013, offered an intimate glimpse at the exceptionally painted chocolate-drinking cups of a single Maya center located in modern-day Guatemala. Ik' vases are acknowledged particularly for their naturalistic color, veristic portraiture, skillful rendition of graceful movement, and elegantly fluid, calligraphic line. Several Ik' vases were also signed by their painters–a convention attested in the ancient Americas only among the Maya of this region. Complementing the museum’s  important holdings of Ik' vessels with loans of select masterpieces from other museum collections, the exhibition both elucidated the courtly politics and dynastic history of the Ik' kingdom and revealed the vital role of master artists in these intrigues. Dancing into Dreams: Maya Vase Painting of the Ik’ Kingdom has been made possible by major support from The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation and the Barr Ferree Foundation Publication Fund, Princeton University, and by the David L. Klein Jr. Foundation and the Program in Latin American Studies, Princeton University. Additional support was also provided by the Partners and Friends of the Princeton University Art Museum.

    Bryan R. Just is the Peter Jay Sharp, Class of 1952, Curator and Lecturer of the Art of the Ancient Americas. Just received a B.A. in Archaeological Studies and the History of Art from Yale University  and his M.A. and  Ph.D. in Art History and Linguistics from Tulane University.  A specialist in ancient Maya art history, his recent publications include Dancing into Dreams: Maya Vases of the Ik’ Kingdom, in preparation, 2012; Printed Pictures of Maya Sculpture,  in Past Presented: Archaeological Illustration in the Americas, in press, 2012; Mysteries of the Maize God,  Record of the Princeton University Art Museum, 2009; Modifications of Ancient Maya Sculpture, in Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, 2005; and In Extenso Almanacs in the Madrid Codex,  in The Madrid Codex: New Approaches to Understanding an Ancient Maya Manuscript, 2004. He also contributed to the Princeton University Art Museum’s Handbook of the Collections, 2007, and is currently involved in its revision, to be published 2012. Dr. Just served as in-house curator for the exhibition Gifts from the Ancestors: Ancient Ivories of Bering Strait, co-curated by William Fitzhugh and Julie Hollowell, presented at Princeton from October 2009 to January 2010.  He developed the current exhibition,  Dancing into Dreams: Maya Vases of the Ik’ Kingdom, as well as The Art of Maya Painting, A lecture series held in conjunction with the exhibition.  Bryan is working on future exhibitions on Princeton’s collections of Southwest art and on the art of Peru’s Early Horizon. As a lecturer in the Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University, Dr. Just has presented seminars on Maya, Olmec, and American Southwest art as well as introductory lecture courses on the art of Mesoamerica.

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