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