Claudia Brittenham

Biography

Claudia Brittenham's research focuses on the art of ancient Mesoamerica, with particular attention to the ways that the materiality of art and the politics of style contribute to our understanding of the ontology of images. Her most recent book is The Murals of Cacaxtla: The Power of Painting in Ancient Mexico (2015). She is also co-author with Mary Miller of The Spectacle of the Late Maya Court: Reflections on the Murals of Bonampak (2013), and with Stephen Houston and colleagues, a co-author of Veiled Brightness: A History of Ancient Maya Color (2009).

Her current book project, Unseen Art: Vision and Memory in Ancient Mesoamerica, explores problems of visibility and the status of images in Mesoamerica. Ranging from carvings on the undersides of Aztec sculptures, Maya lintels, and buried Olmec offerings to the logic of the Mesoamerican tomb, it examines the distance between ancient experiences of works of art and the modern practice of museum display.  

Brittenham is active in the Global Ancient Art initiative within the Department of Art History, as well as in the Katz Center for Mexican Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Institute for the Formation of Knowledge. She is also a member of the Proyecto La Pintura Mural Prehispánica en México of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She received her PhD and BA from Yale University, and was formerly Assistant Curator for Eastern Hemisphere Collections at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.
 

Publications

The Murals of Cacaxtla: The Power of Painting in Ancient Central Mexico

University of Texas Press
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2015

The Spectacle of the Late Maya Court: Reflections on the Murals of Bonampak

University of Texas Press
,
2013

 Veiled Brightness: A History of Ancient Maya Color

University of Texas Press
,
2009

 

“Epilogue: Quetzalcoatl and Mithra,” in Images of Mithra, by Petra Adrych, Robert Bracey, Dominic Dalglish, Stephanie Lenk, and Rachel Wood (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)

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“The Eloquence of Color: Material and Meaning in the Cacaxtla Murals,” in Making Value, Making Meaning: Techné in the Pre-Columbian World, ed. Cathy Lynne Costin (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, 2016)

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“Three Reds: Cochineal, Cinnabar, and Hematite in the Prehispanic Mesoamerican World,” in A Red like No Other: How Cochineal Colored the World, eds. Carmella Padilla and Barbara Anderson (Santa Fe: Museum of International Folk Art and Scala Publishers, 2015)

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“Cacaxtla Figural Ceramics,” co-authored with Debra Nagao, Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, XXXVI, no. 104 (Spring, 2014)

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“Cacaxtla: La elocuencia de los colores,” co-authored with Diana Magaloni, Piero Baglioni, Rodorico Giorgi, and Lorenza Bernini, in La Pintura Mural Prehispánica en México: Cacaxtla: Tomo II—Estudios, eds. Mária Teresa Uriarte Castañeda and Fernanda Salazar Gil (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 2013)

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“Los pintores de Cacaxtla,” in La Pintura Mural Prehispánica en México: Cacaxtla: Tomo II—Estudios, eds. Mária Teresa Uriarte Castañeda and Fernanda Salazar Gil (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 2013)

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“About Time: Problems of Narrative in the Battle Mural at Cacaxtla,” RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 59/60 (2011)

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“Imágenes en un paisaje sagrado: huacas de piedra de los Incas,” in La imagen sagrada y sacralizada: Memoria del XXVIII Coloquio Internacional de Historia del Arte, ed. Peter Krieger, Vol. I (Mexico City: Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2011)

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“Style and substance, or why the Cacaxtla paintings were buried,” RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 55/56 (2009)

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Profiles

Charles Cohen
Charles Cohen
Italian Renaissance and Mannerist Art
CWAC 258
773.702.0619
Wei-Cheng Lin
Wei-Cheng Lin
Chinese Art and Architecture
CWAC 268
773.702.0268
2006-07
Iowa State University
Assistant Professor, East Asian Art and Architecture
Potters Wheel
Richard Neer
Ancient Greek Art and Architecture
CWAC 259
773.702.5890
Andrei Pop
Andrei Pop
Modern Art and Aesthetics
1130 East 59th Street
773.702.8410
Megan Sullivan
Megan Sullivan
Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art
CWAC 272
773.702.5126