La collection Barbier-Mueller
The Barbier-Mueller Collection of Pre-Columbian art, recently auctioned at Sotheby’s, is the most comprehensive collection of its kind. Comprising some 300 works from Mexico, Central, and South America— wood and stone sculptures, ceramics, textiles, and ritual objects—it spans 1200 bc to 1500 ad. This sumptuous slip cased set presents the collection, which includes masterworks from the Aztec, Maya, and other cultures, in two magnificently illustrated books written by the greatest international specialists on the subject, and also includes Sotheby’s sale catalogue.
The Barbier-Mueller Collection, one of the most important and wide-ranging art collections in the world, was begun by Josef Mueller in Paris in 1908 with the purchase of works by Hodler and Cézanne; the Swiss Mueller then looked beyond Western art and bought his first Pre-Columbian piece, an Aztec stone water goddess, in 1920. Today, Mueller’s daughter and son-in-law, Monique and Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, continue to collect Western, African, Oceanic, and Cycladic art that is frequently on loan to museums around the world.
Jacques Blazy, an international expert on Pre-Columbian art, has curated a number of exhibitions and written extensively in the field.