"For three decades, Joseph Johnston has been collecting and preserving paintings by Maya artists from Tz’utujil communities on Lake Atitlán, that highlight the work of many of the most renowned indigenous artists of highland Guatemala.  The collection is unrivaled in its scope and significance. Complete with biographies of the artists, accounts in their own words, and careful documentation, it is rich and inspirational to view and invaluable culturally and artistically. It deserves to remain intact, and to continue to instill deep respect not only for the human spirit of Maya artists, but also for their own appreciation of history, creativity and beauty." Dr. James Loucky, Western Washington University, Department of Anthropology.

"Arte Maya Tz’utuhil documents  a treasure — a unique collection of the brilliant paintings of Mayan artists, many of which document Mayan lifeways of prior generations.  This beautiful, informative website and the glorious collection of paintings are based on Joseph Johnston's generous and visionary encouragement and support, over decades, to the artists in developing their unique points of view and styles.  In the process, Joseph has contributed to the livelihoods and satisfactions of many Mayan artists and to the immense pleasure and inspiration available to us the viewers." Barbara Rogoff, Professor of Psychology, University of California Santa Cruz and author of Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town.

"Cumulatively the paintings of San Pedro artists represent a colorful ethnographic record of highland Mayan culture, secular and ceremonial." Dr. Benjamin D. Paul, Stanford University, founding father of medical anthropology and cultural anthropologist in San Pedro la Laguna from 1941 until his death in 2005.

"A comprehensive collection of contemporary Maya painters from Guatemala, a unique view of life around Lake Atitlán and elsewhere, a welcome addition to museum collections. I am always astounded by the color and detail of the clothing of the Maya, which are rendered with so much clarity. The paintings will remain as a testimony to the richness of Maya culture." Margot Blum Schevill, anthropologist, author and editor of books on Maya textiles.

'The collection of paintings on this website is precious and irreplaceable, assembled by a man whose whole life has been dedicated to protecting the painters and their communities through the collection and promotion of their unique art works. This collection should be considered the most important document—as a whole—of a unique Guatemalan Maya painting movement, taking place in multiple areas, each with its own unique style. Joseph Johnston is a Maya scholar who has here amassed the greatest single historical and contemporary chronicle of a painting movement. This painting collection, reflective of the customs and traditions, the talents of Maya artists, is singular in both depth and scope, and provides a pathway in to the unique Maya voice expressed through visual narratives in this collection of paintings." Dr. Kryssi Staikidis, Associate Professor, Art Education, Northern Illinois University.

 

 

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