Sculpting the Narrative: The Material Practice of Epi-Olmec Art and Writing

From approximately 350 BCE to CE 550, Epi-Olmec artist-scribes produced monumental sculptural narratives using one of the most complicated hieroglyphic systems known from the ancient world. In the 2nd century CE, a group of such literate artists carved the La Mojarra Stela, a masterwork of ancient Mesoamerican sculpture. Although this extraordinary hieroglyphic monument and others like it have fueled decades of debate, little is known about the people who produced these sculptural narratives. This talk presents a working definition for the Epi-Olmec visual culture system, using both inscribed and uninscribed objects to explore diagnostic features ranging from the materiality of sculptural surfaces, to narrative themes and stylistic qualities, to the palpable dialogue between Epi-Olmec texts and images. Stephanie M. Strauss is a professor of Art History at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She held a Harrington Doctoral Fellowship in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin from 2013-2018, and earned her M.A. in Anthropology from George Washington University and B.A. in Anthropology and Latin American Studies from Yale University. Strauss previously worked at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and her research focuses on the early monumental art and writing of ancient Mesoamerica.

Monday, December 3, 2018 at 4:30pm to 4:30pm

E. William Doty Fine Arts Building (DFA)
2301 TRINITY ST , Austin, Texas 78712

Event Type

Arts & Humanities


Department of Art & Art History, College of Fine Arts

Target Audience

Students, General Public

Import Type

COFA/Art & Art History


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