Throughout my working life, archaeological illustration has been a constant part of my art practice. Museums and scholars commission some pieces, to accompany exhibitions or publications; I produce others to complement my own research. I focus primarily on the arts of the ancient Americas and have a particular interest and expertise in pre-Columbian (before Columbus, pre-1492) textiles.
Many of the illustrations are line drawings that can help clarify complex imagery. For instance, in 1991, I completed a full set of pen-and-ink drawings of a 2,000-year-old textile masterpiece from the South Coast of Peru for the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The Museum published drawings and my text in a brochure and continues to print them as gallery panels to help orient visitors. My research and musings over this astonishing piece are ongoing, and I regularly present conference papers on related topics.
Another interesting project I worked on was for the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2015. They hold an important set of six textiles from the Moche culture (circa 5th-century C.E, Peru, North Coast). Because the textiles were too fragmentary to be displayed, I collaborated with the CMA curator and conservator to prepare drawings of the images, which were then printed on sheer fabric and mounted behind the textile fragments, to help visitors visualize the original, complete design.
I also research the textiles of ancient Mexico. Although almost no actual textiles survive from early periods, their patterns and shapes are represented in ancient paintings and sculpture, and Colonial-era manuscripts. My research involves a close visual analysis of these sources.