Exhibitions/ Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas

Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas

At The Met Fifth Avenue
February 27–May 28, 2018
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.

Exhibition Overview

This landmark exhibition of luxury arts of the Incas, the Aztecs, and their predecessors will trace the emergence and florescence of goldworking in the ancient Americas, from its earliest appearance in the Andes to its later developments farther north in Central America and Mexico. In the ancient Americas, metalworking developed in the context of ritual and regalia, rather than for tools, weapons, or currency. Golden Kingdoms will reveal the distinctive ways ancient Americans used not only metals, but also jade, shell, and feathers—materials often considered more valuable than gold. Bringing together newly discovered archaeological finds and masterpieces from major museums in Latin America, Europe, and the United States, this exhibition will cast new light on these ancient civilizations and their place within world history.

Golden Kingdoms will focus on specific places and times—crucibles of innovation, moments of exceptional achievement in the arts—to explore how materials were selected and transformed, imbued with meaning, and deployed in the most important rituals of their time. This unprecedented exhibition will feature more than 300 works from 53 lenders in 12 countries.


Accompanied by a catalogue and an Audio Guide.

The exhibition is made possible in part by
David Yurman logo

Additional support is provided by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, Alice Cary Brown and W.L. Lyons Brown, and the Lacovara Family Endowment Fund.

This exhibition is co-organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 199

Pendant (detail), 1 B.C.–A.D. 700. Tolima, Colombia. Gold, 12 5/8 x 6 3/8 in. (32 x 16.2 cm). Museo de Oro, Banco de la República, Bogotá (O06061)