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Art of the Ancient Americas
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist: Unknown

Old Men Emerging from Flowers

A.D. 600–900

Ceramic with pigment

4.5 cm (1 3/4 in.)
a: 3.9 × 5 × 5.5 cm (1 9/16 × 1 15/16 × 2 3/16 in.)
b: 4.4 × 5.3 × 4.6 cm (1 3/4 × 2 1/16 × 1 13/16 in.)
Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903, Fund
1973.88.11a-b
Seemingly a nearly identical pair, two tiny, shriveled, bald, old men emerge from the center of a blossom. A third such male and a beautiful young female at the National Museum of the American Indian complete a set of four flowers, perhaps once sewn to the clothing or headdress of a high-ranking individual.
Geography: 
Mexico
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Mexico, probably Campeche, Jaina Island, Maya
Period: 
Late Classic Period
Classification: 
Sculpture
Provenance: 

Fred H. Olsen (1891–1986), and Florence Quittenton Olsen, Guilford, Conn.; gift in 1973 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions, 1973,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 35, no. 1 (Summer 1974): 76.

Michael D. Coe, “Three Maya Figurines from Jaina Island,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 35, no. 2 (Spring 1975): 25, ill.

George A. Kubler, ed., Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico and Central America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1986), 135, 297, no. 299–300, fig. 152.

Christopher Corson, Maya Anthropomorphic Figurines from Jaina Island, Campeche (Ramona, Calif.: Ballena Press, 1976).

Elizabeth Kennedy Easby and John F. Scott, Before Cortés, Sculpture of Middle America: A Centennial Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from September 30, 1970 through January 3, 1971, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970).

“New Acquisitions Issue,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 24, no. 1 (April 1958): 19,21, fig. 9.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.