Pre-Columbian artworks from the Posset Collection

Artworks of complex and still mysterious high cultures

Auction in Wurzburg:
Saturday, 7 March 2020 - 2 pm

Preview in Wurzburg:
March 4 to Fri, March 6 — 10 am to 7 pm
March 7 — 9 am to 2 pm

Catalogue order

Anna Maria Posset (1922-2018)

Pre-Columbian, Collection Anna Maria Posset
Photo: Posset family

In 1942, at the age of 20, in the middle of the Second World War, Anna Maria Posset studied teaching for German, history and sport at universities in Munich, Prague, Heidelberg and Erlangen.

After graduating in 1949 and a few years of school service, she took leave in 1956 and went to Buenos Aires to teach at the Goethe Institute. Only a few years earlier, in 1951, the institute had been founded in Munich as the successor to the German Academy. This is how Anne Maria Posset breaks new ground with the still young institute in Buenos Aires. She stays for three years - time that also enables her to travel to Tiahuanaco in Bolivia and Machu Picchu in Peru.

After her return, she teaches at various institutes and schools in southern Germany. In 1962/1963 she went on a journey of several months to other cultural sites in South and Central America, especially in Mexico.

When new pedagogical seminars were set up for the increasing number of university graduates in the 1970s, she again did pioneering work.

Whether modern artists like Paul Gauguin or contemporary artists like Keith Haring, collectors like Helena Rubinstein or Anton Roeckl, art connoisseurs and connoisseurs worldwide still appreciate the works of these complex, and still mysterious, high cultures.

Anna Maria Posset's private collection comprises of around 25 works.

Mexico, Maya, Jaina, pre-Columbian, Collection Posset

Mexico, Maya, Jaina ~ 500-900 AD

Peru, Nazca, pre-Columbian, Collection Posset

One of two rare featherwork panels, Peru, Nazca ~ 300-400 AD

Mexico, Olmec, pre-Columbian, Collection Posset

Mexico, Olmec ~1000-800 BC

Pre-Columbian Art - Modern Reception

Modernism has been trying to inspire itself by African art traditions and the aesthetics of pre-Columbian works since the 19th century. Paul Gauguin, who spent his first years in Peru, imitated figurative ceramics from the Moche culture. At the beginning of his career as a sculptor, Henry Moore was inspired by an impression of a Chak-Mool sculpture exhibited at the Palais du Trocadéro in Paris, which was to decisively shape his entire work.

However, the attitude of modern artists towards pre-Columbian art was not unanimously affirmative. It was often considered too monumental, rigid and repetitive. Nevertheless, in a conversation with Brassaï, Pablo Picasso was able to compare a single piece of art like the Aztec sculpture of a head with the richness of a cathedral facade.

In later years, Jackson Pollock was influenced by the Chavín culture, and currents such as Land Art contributed significantly to the art-historical appreciation of phenomena such as the Nazca lines in the 1960s.

Modern Latin American art with representatives such as Joaquín Torres García, Roberto Matta and Rufino Tamayo also sought and found inspiration in the art of lost indigenous peoples. In the work of the painter Frida Kahlo in particular, the Aztec world of images clearly serves to assure a national Mexican identity and combines the aesthetic with the political dimension. Her husband Diego Rivera also excelled in the collection of pre-Columbian art. The over 50,000 objects in his collection are on display today in the Museo Anahuacalli in Mexico City. [Source: wikipedia]