In ancient Peru, the concept of duality—life and death, man and woman, left and right—was fundamentally important to art and culture. All aspects of life, including religion, politics, and the landscape, were organized into two opposing parts that operated in the continual pursuit of balance. Valued more highly than gold, textiles embodied this duality, as they only come into existence when the warp is woven with the weft. Though numerous societies rose and fell in ancient Peru, textiles maintained the upmost importance.
Balance and Opposition in Ancient Peruvian Textiles presents works from the Museum’s impressive collection of Andean textiles that illustrate this quest for balance through imagery, technique, and function. This collection of textiles, including loaned works from the University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology, have never been on view together.