Mary Miller, Director, Getty Research Institute
Maya female ceramic figurines from the island of Jaina in Campeche, Mexico, produced in the Late Classic Period (600–900 CE) are admired for their lifelike, poignant, and sometimes amusing characteristics. Long assumed to be elite women or moon goddesses, these figurines reveal a complexity of Maya social life, especially for women, that is rarely seen in other painted ceramics or monumental sculpture. They also offer insights into the culture of Jaina Island, including disturbing enslavement practices. Mary Miller will discuss various interpretations of Jaina figurines—including previously unrecognized roles and rituals for male and female figures—based on recent archaeological research and the analysis of hundreds of figurines from collections in Mexico, Europe, and the United States.
2021 Tatiana Proskouriakoff Award Lecture
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About the Speaker
Mary Miller is Director of the Getty Research Institute. A longtime member of the Yale University faculty, she served as Dean of Yale College from 2008 to 2014 and held many University leadership roles. For both her curatorial and scholarly work on ancient Mexico and the Maya, Dr. Miller has won national recognition, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Getty Grant. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994. Named a Sterling Professor at Yale in 2008, she delivered the fifty-ninth A. W. Mellon Lecture at the National Gallery of Art in 2010 and a Slade Lecture at Cambridge University in 2015. Dr. Miller delivered the 2019 Gretchen Taylor Millson Distinguished Lecture at the University of California, Los Angeles, an endowed annual lecture honoring women scholars and feminist concerns.