Inca: Conquests of the Andes / Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes

May 15, 2015 to November 15, 2015 | Chilton II Gallery


Inca: Conquests of the Andes explores the effects of the dynamic nature of state expansion and imperial conquest on Andean visual arts. The Inca Empire developed through the 15th and early 16th centuries, encompassing the central Andes of South America. Before and after the Inca Empire, political expansions by local states or foreign empires continually transformed the Andean coast and highlands. The visual arts of these periods reflect the dynamism of such cultural convergence.

The exhibition presents more than 120 works primarily drawn from the DMA’s collection, many of which are on view for the first time, along with significant loans. The Inca (Inka) and their imperial impact are framed by pre-Inca cultures, such as the Huari (Wari), and the successive early Spanish colonial period. The exhibition reflects the traditional media of Andean visual arts, from ceramic and wood to gold, silver, feather, and textile objects. They convey the richness and dynamism of over 1,000 years of Andean cultural history.

Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes

Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes explora el efecto dinámico que tuvieron la expansión territorial y la conquista imperial en las artes visuales andinas. El imperio inca se desarrolló durante el siglo XV e inicios del siglo XVI, abarcando la zona central de los Andes en Sudamérica. Antes y después del auge del imperio inca, las políticas de expansión de varios estados locales e imperios foráneos transformaron la costa y sierra andina. Las artes visuales de estos periodos reflejan el dinamismo de esta concurrencia de culturas.

Esta exposición presenta más de 120 obras, siendo muchas de ellas exhibidas por primera vez. Los incas y su impacto imperial están enmarcados por culturas preincaicas, como los huari (wari), y por el posterior periodo colonial de dominio español. La exposición muestra las tradicionales técnicas y materiales de las artes visuales andinas, de la obras de cerámica y madera a los objetos de oro, plata, plumas, y textiles. Todos ellos ejemplifican la riqueza y dinamismo de los más de 1000 años de la historia cultural andina.  


Explore objects in new dimensions

To enable 3D viewing, simply select the object image and use a mouse or trackpad to turn it 360 degrees and explore the hidden details.  Photographers from the DMA partnered with Google Cultural Institute to create these interactive images; click here to see more 3D objects from the DMA’s collection.

Cup (quero) with figures plowing/Vaso (quero) con figuras arando, 17th-18th century
The ritual consumption of maize beer, or aqha (a’qa) was associated with the agricultural calendar. The scene on this cups refers to the connection between the quero and agriculture. The scene may recall an agricultural ceremony of late August, with the large flowers along the base symbolizing fecundity. 


Bottle with reclining feline and openwork band/Botella con felino reposado y banda calada, A.D. 1440–1570
This vessel reflects the influence of Inca imperial expansion on coastal ceramic styles. While the stirrup spout bottle was predominant in Chimú fine ceramic arts, this Late Horizon Chimú blackware vessels exhibit the distinctive features of the common Inca vessel, the urpu, including the long, constricted neck, and wide body. 


Inca: Conquests of the Andes will require an $16.00 special exhibition ticket

Buy Tickets
$16 with discounts for seniors, students, and military. DMA Members and children 11 and under are free.


Peruvian Weaving (1980)

This event has already passed

In celebration of the opening of Inca: Conquests of the Andes, watch a documentary examining the ancient Andean Indian tradition of warp pattern weaving handed down from woman to woman for some five thousand years.


Inca Haute Cuisine: Dining Splendidly in 15th-Century Peru

This event has already passed

Presented by the Boshell Family Lecture Series on Archeology
Join Dr. Tamara L. Bray, Professor of Anthropology at Wayne State University, to look at the different foodstuffs, methods of preparation, and forms of consumption found within the Inca Empire, and the important role of food and feasting in the negotiation of power and state politics during the late pre-Columbian era. Following the talk, join us for a three-course Inca feast featuring authentic Peruvian dishes.