Dr. Jo Anne Van Tilburg presents 'Easter Island Statues: High Costs, Deep Meanings, and the Human Condition'

2018-2019 Department of Art History Speaker Series. This event is co-sponsored by the Sacred Arts Festival.

Date & Time:

Friday, April 5, 2019
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM


O'Shaughnessy Educational Center (OEC) Auditorium

Jo Anne Van Tilburg was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, graduated from the University of Minnesota, and holds a M.Ed. and Ph.D. in archaeology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the director of the UCLA Rock Art Archive (1997 to the present). She has served two appointed terms on the U.S. National Park System Advisory Board Landmarks Committee and, in 2001, received the California Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation for rock art research at Little Lake Ranch, Rose Valley, Inyo County, California. The resultant publication is Rock Art at Little Lake: An Ancient Crossroads in the California Desert (Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, 2014). 

Her research interests are the structural analysis of chiefdoms, the integration of symbolism and structure and the interactive cultural roles of art, history, and ecology in island societies.  

Easter Island Statues: High Costs, Deep Meanings and the Human Condition

The cultural image created by the proliferation of the monolithic statues of Easter Island does not equate with the organization of the ancient society that created them. This presentation suggests that religious beliefs created critical issues influencing human adaptation on an isolated island.

This event is co-sponsored by the Sacred Arts Festival.

Suggested Background Material

Heyerdahl, T. and E.N. Ferdon, Jr. 1961 Archaeology of Easter Island Vol 1.Reports of the Norwegian Archaeological Expedition to Easter Island and the East Pacific. Santa Fe. School of American Research and the Museum of New Mexico

Kaeppler, A. L. 1978. "Artificial Curiosities:" Being an Exposition of Native Manufactures Collected on the Three Pacific Voyages of Captain James Cook, R.N., at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, January 18, 1978-August 31, 1978, on the Occasion of the Bicentennial of the European Discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by Captain Cook, January 18, 1778. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Special Publication 65. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu.

2010 Polynesia: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn collection of Polynesian art. Honolulu: Mark and Carolyn Blackburn.

Kjellgren, E. (editor) 2001 Splendid Isolation: Art of Easter Island. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Kjellgren, E., and C. Ivory 2005 Adorning the World: Art of the Marquesas Islands. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Kirch, P.V. 2017 On the Road of the Winds: An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands Before European Contact. University of California Press, Berkeley

Routledge, K. 1919 The Mystery of Easter Island. London: Sifton and Praed

Stanish, C. 2017 The Evolution of Human Co-operation: Ritual and Social Complexity in Stateless Societies. Cambridge University Press

Van Tilburg, J. 1994 Easter Island: Archaeology, Ecology, and Culture. London: British Museum Press.

Van Tilburg, J. 2003 Among Stone Giants The Life of Katherine Routledge and Her Remarkable Expedition to Easter island Scribner's

Van Tilburg, J. 2006 Remote Possibilities: Hoa Hakananai'a and H.M.S. Topaze on Easter Island. Research Publication 156. London: British Museum Press



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