February 11, 2012, Gillett G. Griffin and John Burkhalter: "TEMPLE B and Other Stories"

          Gillett G. Griffin, curator emeritus of Pre-Columbian and Native American Art at the Princeton University Art Museum, shared his exciting stories of adventures in Mexico and Central America in pictures and words. In 1966, he went to Mexico for the first time to paint, explore and write.  An intrepid explorer, he was co-discoverer of rare Olmec cave paintings deep in Juxtlahuaca Cave in central Guerrero. During his tenure as Curator of Pre-Columbian Art,   he served as an adviser for a PBS documentary Mystery of the Maya, which featured the chance re-discovery of Temple B at Rio Bec. He also mapped the highland Olmec site of Chalcatzingo, Morelos. Accompanying Mr. Griffin was musician John Burkhalter performing on original Pre-Columbian wind instruments including the only known jade Maya flute.
            Gillett G. Griffin earned his Bachelor of Fine arts degree from Yale University in 1951. He has received two AIGA awards, one for  A Mouse's Tale, which Griffin wrote, illustrated, and hand-printed in 1951. He became Curator of Graphic Arts, a division of Rare Books and Special Collections, at the Princeton University Library  from 1952 to 1966. In 1967, Griffin returned to Princeton University as Curator of Pre-Columbian and Native American Art at the Art Museum. .  Griffin’s landmark exhibitions included: Lords of the Underworld - Masterpieces of Maya Vase Painting, The Olmec World, and Music from the Land of the Jaguar, which was co-curated by John Burkhalter.
            John Burkhalter studied the performance of early music at the New England Conservatory of Music in and the performance of Baroque music at Harvard University.  He has composed and prepared music for  NJN; PBS-WNET -13; The Walters Art Museum; the Princeton University Art Museum; the New Jersey State Museum; the PENN Museum; the Newark Museum; and TATE Modern. He has lectured extensively on the ancient musical cultures of the Americas most notably at Princeton; Yale, the Cultural Centre of the Permanent Mission to the United Nations of the Republic of Colombia, and Dumbarton Oaks. Mr. Burkhalter was a musical consultant for the Penn Museum exhibitions River of Gold  and Painted Metaphors, and for the National Geographic Society.

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