The Museum of Anthropology

Luminescence: The Silver of Peru

Dates and Venue 5 October – 16 December 2012, | The Museum of Anthropology, UBC, 6393 NW Marine Drive

Reviewer John Jane

18th century silver crown, Peru
photo: John Jane

Last Thursday evening (4 October), Dr. Anthony Shelton, a director of the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) and curator of Luminescence: the Silver of Peru officially opened the doors to MOA’s trailblazing exposition of Peruvian silverware.

The process of bringing this art show to Vancouver has taken three long years, but Dr. Shelton, who is also a pre-Columbian expert, seems to believe it’s all been worthwhile. In a keynote speech which was part of the inauguration, he thanked the Pan American Silver Corporation and the Patronato Plata del Peru for their generous support.

Peru is only second to Mexico in annual silver production. Pan American Silver has two underground mines currently operating in that country. One in the district of Morococha, approximately 140 kilometres north-east of the national capital Lima and Huaron situated in the Andes twice the distance from Lima in roughly the same direction.

Silver ore, mined by Pan American Silver Corp.
photo: John Jane

There are several pre-Columbian objects in the show that come from pre-Inca cultures: Chimú, the Moche, and the Nazca. Many of them borrowed from public and private collections and have never before been viewed outside of Peru. Visitors to Luminescence: the Silver of Peru will see pre-Columbian crowns (pictured), processional staffs, hand-crafted jewellery, colourful devil masks and exquisite drawings by artist Filipe Guaman Pomo.

© 2012 John Jane