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Luminescence: The Silver of Peru

Silver armadillo holding lock and key with little man on top

Luminescence: The Silver of Peru

January 15–March 9, 2013

Curated by the UBC Museum of Anthropology

University of Toronto Art Centre

Luminescence: the Silver of Peru traces the long history of silverwork and the fascination with the metal’s divine and luminescent qualities. It will display pre-Columbian works to those made by contemporary artists, including national treasures seldom seen outside of Peru. The exhibition is curated by MOA Director Dr. Anthony Shelton.

“One can only imagine the incredible impact that silver must have had in pre-Columbian Peru. Garbed in the precious metal, radiating and reflecting the harsh desert light, the Incas and their predecessors would have appeared as deities,” says Dr. Shelton. “Even as the region underwent sweeping changes in subsequent centuries, the cultural importance of silver remained alive. In Luminescence, we explore what the incredible, reflective properties of silver have meant to Peru over time.”

Opening Reception

Tuesday 15 January, 2013, 6:00pm
University of Toronto Art Centre


1,000 Years in the Development of Techniques in Peruvian Silversmithing
Tuesday 15 January, 2013, 4:30pm
Featuring José Torres Della Pina
University College, Room 140


The 16th Annual Hutchinson Lecture
Co-Presented by the Patronato Plata del Perú
Expressions of Power: Material Symbols in the Americas
Wednesday 27 February, 2013, 4:30pm
Featuring Dr. Anthony Shelton
University College, Room 140

Video Documentation

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the Presenting Sponsors: Pan American Silver Corporation, Patronato Plata del Perú, and CIBC as well as the Contributing Sponsors: Indus and Manulife Financial.

Title Image: Nose ornament, 1100-1450. Silver, Chimu. Museo Larco, Lima, Peru.

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Upcoming Exhibitions