You are here:Home/Resources/ Highlights from the Collections/ Past and Present: Views of Maya Monuments

Past and Present: Views of Maya Monuments

This interactive exhibition matches ten lithographed plates of Maya monuments from Frederick Catherwood’s 1844 “Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan” with contemporary photographs by Jay A. Frogel to show the passage of time.

Copan, Honduras 1B
Copan, Front of Stela H. Photo: Jay A. Frogel.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library’s Rare Book Collection has recently acquired Frederick Catherwood’s Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan. Published in 1844, this rare edition contains twenty-five lithographed plates based on Catherwood’s drawings of Maya ruins. Catherwood sketched the ruins on his journeys with John L. Stephens to Central America between 1839 and 1842. A digital version of this edition is available through the Harvard University Library Page Delivery Service.

This interactive matches ten lithographed plates of Maya monuments with contemporary photographs by Jay A. Frogel to show the passage of time. Professor Frogel’s photography of Maya ruins and numerous publications from Stephens and Catherwood’s journeys are featured in Pre-Columbian Studies’ exhibition, Stephens & Catherwood Revisited: Maya Ruins and the Passage of Time, on view in the Orientation and Rare Book Galleries. Plan your visit here, and view the exhibition booklet here.