Exhibiting Historical Art: Out of the Vault: Stories of People and ThingsMain MenuWorld MapClick pins to learn more about the object that originated thereTimelinePre-Columbian Gold Headband800 A.D. - 1500 A.D.Gold Eagle PendantsSepik River Headrest20th centuryStatue of Saint Barbara17th century France, polychromed wood, artist unknownCabinet door from the Imperial Palace of Beijing with Imperial DragonChen Youzhang, 1755Bronze LampHead of John the BaptistLauren Linquest, '19Ida Rubenstein, 1909 Sculpture by Jo DavidsonCassone ChestWater-Carrier Vase with Bamboo Pattern and BambooLenore Vanderkooi, 1996Lotus Flowers in a Wood VaseRevolutions Per Minute: The Art RecordOpening page
Anonymous Western Panama and adjoining areas of Costa Rica
Gold bird-form pendants were a favored form of personal ornament in ancient Central America, and are perhaps the best known type of Pre-Columbian gold object. They were made to be worn suspended around the neck, and while the pendants differ in specific details, the basic configuration is usually the same- extended wings over open, splayed tails and heads, and beaks that project strongly forward. These personal ornaments were fabricated in many sizes; some are barely an inch high and may have been made for children, while others, such as this example, would fully adorn a large male chest.
Sarah Robinson Musical Arts and Economics Major '18
12016-04-07T13:14:01-07:00Modern Life4Mid 1900s - Presentgallery2016-04-19T15:16:22-07:00The exact journey of this particular piece is unknown but eventually it was picked up by a man named Donald J. Erickson. Mr. Erickson, a partner and chairman of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Co. and resident of the Chicago area, acquired the piece prior to 1977. He owned the headband until his death in 1987. At this point it was transferred over to his wife, Irma A. Erickson and then their daughter Cynthia A. Sandell in 2001. Though we cannot know what prompted Mr. Erickson to obtain this piece, his personal interests would have been represented in the value he placed upon the object. For his wife and daughter it is likely that the gold took on the added significance of remembering him. With a donation from Mrs. Sandell, the headband came to rest in Vanderbilt’s collection in 2006, along with five other Pre-Columbian gold pieces from the family, two of which are also now on display in the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery. In its new context in the Vanderbilt gallery, the piece continues to add value to its story. In its place displayed in the gallery the piece now takes on the importance of telling its story and teaching viewers about its past.