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Photography Exhibition at Ibero-American Institute in Berlin

Exhibition dedicated to the famous photographer Teobert Maler will take place from 13th October to 26th November

November 25th, 2016
Martina Malusa, News from Berlin

The Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut is promoting an exhibition dedicated to the German-Austrian photographer Teobert Maler, entitled ‘Teobert Maler: Die Gegenwart des Vergangenen’. Maler travelled and explored Mexico and devoted himself to study of the Maya. Visitors can discover more about this amazing artist and Mexican and Mayan culture at the exhibition.

Teobert Maler (1842-1917) was a German-Austrian architect, photographer and explorer who devoted his energies to documenting the ruins of the Maya civilization.

He went for the first time to Mexico in 1865. In the following years, he travelled around south Mexico and Guatemala. He developed interests in photography and in the antiquities of Mesoamerica. He settled in Yucatán with a small house in the town of Ticul, where he set up a photographic studio and learned the Maya language.

However, he spent most of his time in the forests accompanied by a few Maya to help clear the jungle from the ruins and carry his photographic equipment. He visited the major well-known sites, such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal, and became the first to document some new ruins. At Chichen, he lived in the ruins for 3 months and documented the site much more fully than earlier visitors.

In his later years, Teobert Maler was known as something of a misanthrope. He died in Mérida, aged 75. Many of his accounts were published posthumously, one batch in the 1930s, more in the 1970s and 1990s.

The exhibition was opened with a speech of Dr. Iken Paap, who is conducting a project based on Maler’s discoveries.

Many of his unpublished works, such as negatives and drafts, are available at IAI. The exhibition, which also takes place in Mexico in Campeche and Mérida, contrasts Maler’s photographs and paintings with photographs of archaeological sites which were created during the excavation and consolidation work which has been going since the 1960s.


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