Discovering Fine Pre-Columbian Art. A curator’s and collector’s journey through The Stuart Handler Collection
Stuart Handler, Hugh Thomson, Joanne Stuhr
Photographs by Edward Parrinello
Pre-Columbian art through the eyes of a filmmaker, an art historian and a passionate collector
A Pre-Columbian art lover and noted curator journey into a fine art collection, describing the rich cultural context and artistic merits of each work. Along with 150 full-colour glossy illustrations of the terracotta, earthenware, stone, silver, and copper objects, the acclaimed author, explorer, and filmmaker Hugh Thomson gives a detailed, exciting narrative, based upon extensive research, of the role art played in the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés and of Peru by Francisco Pizarro.
It is rare that a collector takes such a personal, descriptive part in publishing his treasure trove, but in this lavishly illustrated book, Stuart Handler describes why he gathered Pre-Columbian art, what attracted him to the individual pieces, and, from his forty-five years of building art collections in various media and genres, what artistic attributes make these objects outstanding works of art.
Hugh Thomson is an award-winning British writer and filmmaker, and an acclaimed explorer. He has led research expeditions in Peru exploring Inca settlements, which resulted in the discovery of Cota Coca in 2002 and an investigation of Llaqtapata in 2003. The three-part film Indian Journeys, which he made with William Dalrymple, won the Brierson Award for Best Documentary Series in 2001. His many books include The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001) and Tequila Oil: Getting Lost in Mexico (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009).
Joanne Stuhr is a distinguished art historian and independent curator who works with museums and private collections throughout the United States, Mexico, and Europe. She has curated over one hundred exhibitions, written or contributed essays to more than fifteen publications, and currently manages two major collections of Pre-Columbian art. Stuhr’s books include Talking Birds, Plumed Serpents and Painted Women: Prehistoric Ceramics of Casas Grandes; Heaven, Hell, and the Places in Between: Latin American Folk Art from the Cecere Collection; Ritual Beauty: Art of the Ancient Americas; Pre-Columbian Inspiration in Mexican Silver Design; and The Figure Examined in American and European Art of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.
Stuart Handler has been collecting art for forty-five years, building collections in the areas of American abstract expressionism, contemporary realism, Mexican folk art, Mexican festival masks, and Pre-Columbian art.
Edward Parrinello is a renowned photographer of jewellery and tribal art. He has had a long association with Sotheby’s and many dealers of tribal art. His clients in the jewellery field include Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. His photography and design studio, SquareMoose, is