Art of the Americas

Learn about the art and culture of the Olmec, the Maya, the Inka, the Aztec, and other pre-conquest cultures. Learn about the art of the British and Spanish colonies, of the Native North American nations, the cultures of the Amazon and of the art of the new American republics of the 18th and 19th century. Here are the brilliant and complex stories of the peoples of the New World.

Caral's plan and some of its components, including pyramidal structures and residence of the elite, show clear evidence of ceremonial functions, signifying a powerful religious ideology.


The planning of this huge city, the largest in pre-Columbian America, reflects a strict political and social strategy

Chan Chan

The ruins of Quirigua contain some outstanding 8th-century monuments and an impressive series of carved stelae and sculpted calendars that constitute an essential source for the study of Mayan civilization.


Xochicalco is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a fortified political, religious and commercial centre from the troubled period of 650–900


The ruined citadel and imposing public squares reveal the three main stages of development before the city was abandoned in the early 10th century.


The ceremonial center of Tikal contains superb temples and palaces, and public squares accessed by means of ramps.


Paquimé, Casas Grandes, which reached its apogee in the 14th and 15th centuries, played a key role in trade and cultural contacts between the Pueblo culture of the south-western United States and northern Mexico and the more advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica

Paquimé, Casas Grandes

jesuit mission grid
The ruins of São Miguel das Missões in Brazil, and those of San Ignacio Miní, Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa María la Mayor in Argentina are the impressive remains of five Jesuit missions

Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis

Allan Houser’s Earth Song depicts an Apache man singing a song of respect, a prayer to Mother Earth. Discover why Earth Song is a masterpiece with David Roche, Dickey Family Director and CEO of the Heard Museum.

Earth Song by Allan Houser

huexotzinco codex grid
The images in the Huexotzinco Codex help us to learn more about tribute, conquest and the conditions of colonialism, Native agency, Nahua writing systems, Indigenous knowledge, the importance of images, early Christianity in the Americas, and legal disputes. 

The Codex Huexotzinco