For Immediate Release

Lecture and Book Signing: The Copan Sculpture Museum

October 13, 2011 Cambridge -- "The Maya site of Copan has long been known for its spectacular stone sculpture. Barbara Fash’s new book places these powerful works of art within a fascinating broader cultural context, drawing upon recent advances in archaeological and epigraphic research. Generously illustrated, the volume is accessible to the nonspecialist and indispensable to anyone interested in the art of the ancient Americas."
Joanne Pillsbury, Director of Pre-Columbian Studies, Dumbarton Oaks

The sculptors and artisans of the Classic Maya city of Copan in Honduras produced some of the finest and most animated buildings and temples in the ancient Americas. Outstanding examples of their extraordinary stone carvings--including stunning monolithic statues and altars--are exhibited in the Copan Sculpture Museum.

On Thursday, November 10, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology presents a lecture and book signing for The Copan Sculpture Museum: Artistry in Stucco and Stone. The lecture begins at 5:30 PM at the Geological Lecture Hall (24 Oxford St., Cambridge), followed by the book signing at the Peabody Museum.

In The Copan Sculpture Museum, author Barbara Fash tells the inside story of the museum's creation. Conceiving, designing, and building this on-site museum involved people from all walks of life, among them archaeologists, artists, architects, public servants, and local craftspeople. Lavishly illustrated, the book gives detailed archaeological context for each exhibit in the museum, provides a comprehensive introduction to the history, art, and culture of the ancient Maya, and demonstrates the value of working with local communities to preserve cultural heritage.

Each year more than 150,000 national and international visitors go to the ruins of Copan. The ruins were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. The Copan Sculpture Museum is a local museum with global significance, dedicated to fostering international cultural understanding and promoting Hondurans' identity with their own past in this remarkable setting.

Barbara W. Fash is an artist, museum professional, and the director of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscription Program. In 2008, she received the Hoja de Laurel de Oro for her contributions to preserving and documenting the cultural heritage of Honduras for over 30 years. She is one of the creators of the Copan Sculpture Museum.

Read an excerpt from the book.

About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.

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Media Contact:

Faith Sutter
Communications Coordinator
Peabody Museum
Tel: 617-495-3397





High resolution image available on request.

Read an excerpt from the book.

Free public lecture: Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge. The book signing follows at the Peabody Museum.

Information: 617-496-1027 or

The Copan Sculpture Museum: Ancient Maya Artistry in Stucco and Stone
Barbara Fash, Director, Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions, Peabody Museum

Summer 2011. Available now
Paper $35.00
216 pages / 198 color illustrations, 34 line illustrations, 35 halftones, and 2 maps

Peabody Museum Press/David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies