Clark’s Pachacamac Website

Welcome to the Pachacamac Website of the Penn Museum Sites Sites. In the near future, content about the inventory, research, and exhibit planning for the Pachacamac Collection will be added here.

Clark L. Erickson, PhD (Curator of the American Section, Penn Museum)

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  • Guest

    Talking about what art “means” is just for academics to posture for each other. The only person who knows what an artwork means is the person who made it. But I’d be fascinated to hear about how the artwork was made. I think I’d have a much greater appreciation for a piece of art if I knew how long it took to make, where the materials came from and what process the artist had to go through to prepare to make it.

    • Guest2

      I agree that knowing how a piece of art was made is important and informative. However, talking about what art “means” to the viewer, whether or not that viewer is in the field of academia, is a very important component of the role that art plays in society. If art doesn’t “mean” anything to anyone, then why make it? Why should we look at it? Additionally, to assume that an artist is cognizant of all the cultural and societal influences at play in his/her own art is quite a bit of an assumption.

  • Mr. Rooney

    The following entry is from students in Mr. Rooney’s World Cultures class at Saint Basil Academy, who researched this Imagine Africa theme as part of the course.

    There is really no right or wrong answer to this question, because everyone has their own opinion and thoughts. We feel it is more important to study the meaning of the piece. This is because you receive a better understanding of what is being presented when you can relate to the thoughts behind it. Artists are able to express themselves and by creating a message in each piece we can learn something new. Two artists could use the same type of technique or material but their artwork would have a completely different meaning. Each artist begins a new piece with a unique story inspiring it, and they leave the option up to us to decipher it.

  • Mr. Rooney

    The following entry is from the students in Mr. Rooney’s World Cultures class at Saint Basil Academy, who researched this Imagine Africa theme as part of the course.

    It is better to study the meaning of the piece of artwork, and the reason for its artistic side instead of the technical side of art. This is more important because we can learn more about the culture of Africa, and the ways the people express themselves. Some art may have a deeper meaning, or a significant meaning to the African culture. The techniques and materials used to create the art show their craftsmanship, but not the value of their artistic abilities. Through these abilities we are able to take in the importance of the African culture. This culture is a big influence on American culture because we see a lot of it in painting, rugs, and other household items. If we discover more about African art we can be able to understand what this art meant to them in the ancient times, and how it reflects on our lives today.