The small but exciting exhibition Design for Eternity was precisely targeted to the topic of architectural models in ancient American art. Rather than focusing on regional styles or time periods, it displayed fifty-six objects solely on the basis of their status as small-scale representations of architecture, along with a few other materials to help contextualize them, including photos of archaeological sites and textiles. Made of clay, wood, stone, and metal, the artworks were products of various ancient American cultures, including Cupisnique, Moche, Chimú, Nazca, Inca, Nayarit, Teotihuacan, Maya, Aztec, and Mezcala. Highlighting the relationship of the models to real architectural space, the two side entrances to the gallery were decorated with motifs from Inca masonry walls, which are known for the incredible skill with which they were built.

The exhibition was curated by Joanne Pillsbury, who provided extensive information on the forms, decorations, and motifs of the objects, especially in...

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