Five centuries after the arrival of Hernán Cortés in Mexico and his initial encounter with Aztec culture, this rich civilization remains as fascinating as ever to Western eyes. The Linden Museum is paying tribute to this pivotal Mexican culture with an ambitious retrospective exhibition titled Azteken (Aztecs).While the show was produced in partnership with the Nationaal Museum van Wereldkulturen in the Netherlands, much of its content is the fruit of a collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de Mexico. Due to this connection, the installation includes the very latest archaeological finds from the Templo Mayor in Mexico City.
The exhibition’s presentation follows Cortés’ path through the New World lands to Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital that was the region’s major political and ceremonial center. A succession of artworks drawn from various museums together offer insight into the society, political organization, belief systems, and artistic lives of the Aztec.
Two of the works on display are extraordinarily refined feather shields, the fascinating story of which Agathe Torres writes about in our Spring 2020 edition.