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Bushnell G.H.S. Ancient Arts of the Americas

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Bushnell G.H.S. Ancient Arts of the Americas
London: Thames and Hudson, 1965. — 288 p. — (The World of Art Library).
Pre-Columbian art is one of the richest and most rewarding subjects in the history of both art and archaeology. It is also one of the most remarkable, not only because of the extremely varied and often prodigious output it covers, but because all the great pre-Columbian artifacts were produced during centuries when mechanical aids, including the wheel, were practically unknown in that part of the world; these were works of art which, quite literally, ‘owed everything to the hand and eye of the American Indian’. This survey, by one of the foremost authorities in his field, covers an area ranging from Wisconsin to Argentina and spans in time the four millennia from 2500 BC to the arrival in the New World of the Conquistadors. In addition to a discussion of the great pre-Columbian civilizations of Mexico and Peru, Dr Bushnell considers many of the lesser-known achievements of peoples whose art has been overshadowed by the more spectacular legacy of the Maya, Aztecs, Incas and others. The artifacts themselves provide a fascinating commentary on the character of the civilizations which produced them—as can be seen from the illustrations, many of which have never previously been published. In its scope and wealth of information, Dr Bushnell has written an ideal introduction for the general reader as well as a valuable reference work for the specialist.
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