A major American museum The Dallas Museum of Art has acquired a small effigy vase from the Maya site of Quirigua (in Guatemala) - the vase was formerly held by the St. Louis Society of the AIA. The museum is associated with a university - we respect their right to make a full press release.

The small effigy was legally excavated and exported from Guatemala in the 1911-2. It was displayed in the Saint Louis Art Museum before 1980, then removed from display to make room for the large collection of MesoAmerican objects donated by Morton D. May. The effigy vase from Quirigua was stored at Washington University in St. Louis for over three decades.


The St. Louis Society had originally acquired the small effigy vase [and a broken corn god urn that is Zapotec] in gratitude for its support of the work of Edgar Lee Hewett and Sylvanus Morley for the School of American Archaeology in Santa Fe. The effigy vase from Quirigua was published in 1916 and again in 1988.

The transfer of the Maya effigy vase to the university museum was assisted by Bonhams. The St. Louis Society will use funds from the Museum to re-establish its "Community Archaeology" program, aimed at encouraging interest in science and archaeology in students 10 to 14 years old. The program began in 1988 and was last supported by the St. Louis Society in 2003.

Posted 10 December 2014

We apologize for our earlier post identifying the vase as going to a university museum. We are delighted that it will be displayed in the Dallas Art museum.

Posted 10 March 2015