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Mexican Art History Lecture Series 

6 Lectures by


Jan. - March 2023

Wed. Evening 6-7:30

Pacific Grove Adult School


Course Description: Art appreciation course covering Mexican art history from Pre-Columbian to contemporary times.

Lecture Videos: The videos below contain content related to the current course but the in-person course contains variations thereof.

Lecture 1 + 2 (Divided into 5 video sections): Olmec art works from 1600BC to 300BC.

A cursory survey underpinned by 

the notion of artistic modalities available for the representation of leadership figures within historical moments of state formation.

Art historical concepts including, metamorphosis, description, illusion, relief sculpture and the representational or theatrical plane.

Olmec Lecture 1 and 2

Lecture 3: Teotihuacan

A cursory survey underpinned by 

the notion of self-arranging state formation and abstraction bound by practices such as mold-making and interchangeable parts.

Art historical concepts including painting, abstraction and community sculpture.

Teotihuacan Lecture3

Class Links for media from discussions.


Class 1 and 2:




Here is a 3d rendering

Working with Jadeite Video min 0:54

Tourist video of La Venta heads at museum:


Movie of transport of heads to American Museums. 20:41 dragging head out. 5:24 helicopter view


Indonesian rock workers

What is ignacious rock


Video of difference between basalt and granite.


Viscosity (for Basalt) video


Minute 25: rubber ball artifact:

Votive Axes


Muybridge movie of running horse


Notes from  Lecture 1 Spring 2023

1st Lecture –

Spring 2023


General Introduction

We looked at introductory  images of Olmec, Teotihuacan and Diego Rivera art work. 

We looked at the geography of the Tehuantapec Isthmus and the ecology of the cradles of civilization briefly mentioning circumscription theory.

We looked at the plateau of  San Lorenzo and  discussed the amazing female archeologists that have uncovered the history of Mesoamerica. such as Cyphers.

We started to talk about the unique character of the  skin, face and heads. Students pointed out the surprising realism and we discussed the idea of a ruler with tired eyes. . We  showed  a movie  from  60's of moving

 one of the heads. from Veracruz to Texas

We talked about the city of Teotihuacan and the middle class apartments that had mural paintings. 

Questions  from students included:

How many man hours to make a head?

IIs it like in Egypt where the sculptures were planned far in advance?

Where in India was Indian cradle of civilization?

What is iconography of the Diego tree scene The characters in the background?

Are the hollow baby sculptures actually hollow? How  were they made?

Have you seen the murals of  Bonampak - the Mayan site in Chiapas?

Are they art for arts sake?

Or are they for memory and remembrance?

Is this the original color?

Are they flat on the back?

What year were they moved?

Who were these paintings for?

Lectur 1 Spring 2023
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