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Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea
February 13–May 8, 2011

Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea brings together over 90 works, many never before seen in the United States, to offer exciting insights into the culture of the ancient Maya. Surrounded by the sea and dependent on the life-giving power of rain and clouds, the ancient Maya created fantastic objects imbued with the symbolic power of water. This exhibition presents four thematic sections—Water and Cosmos, Creatures of the Fiery Pool, Navigating the Cosmos, and Birth to Rebirth—that explore the different ways Maya artists represented water, from setting religious narratives in watery domains to using shells and other exotic materials acquired through coastal trade networks.

Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, and has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Because democracy demands wisdom. Additional support was provided by ECHO (Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations), a program of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Curated in St. Louis by Matthew H. Robb, assistant curator of Ancient American and Native American art, the exhibition will be on view in the Main Exhibition Galleries, February 13–May 8, 2011.

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