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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the interpretive challenges that art historians and anthropologists have faced in approaching Inca intellectual and artistic achievements, which do not fit comfortably in Western categories. George Kubler took up the question of Inca art in the mid-twentieth century, creating a space in art history for studying the Incas. This development occurred at a time when archaeologists such as John Rowe worked to place the Incas within the broader context of Andean civilizations, and structuralists like Tom Zuidema were beginning to challenge historical narratives in search of underlying elements of Andean culture. The scholarly interest in Inca art, material culture, and intellect was but one aspect of the Inca focus of that time, as artists found inspiration in Inca ruins and museum galleries in the United States, and other countries began to exhibit Inca artifacts as an art to be approached on its own terms.

Keywords: Inca, art, George Kubler, Tom Zuidema, Andes, art history

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