Among the most startling treasures on view in the Dallas Museum of Art’s ancient Mexican blockbuster, “The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico,” is a multi-ton, six-foot-tall pair of sandaled feet, truncated at the knees and sculpted from basalt, circa A.D. 900 – 1200. The dramatic architectural fragment was once a column in a vast pyramidal complex, at the heart of the capital of the Toltec kingdom in Tula (in the present state of Hidalgo), sited amid the plains of central Mexico. Watch for this Atlantid Warrior posted outside the entrance to the exhibition, standing guard over 150 rare artifacts and objects of art that span 500 years during the postclassic and early colonial periods, united by a common belief in the plumed serpent, or Quetzalcoatl. Another highlight is more ephemeral but equally fascinating — the poignant Codex Nuttall, a 15th–16th-century hand-colored and illustrated volume penned on deerskin. Stolen from the Mixtecs by their European conquerors, it’s now back in North America for the first time in 500 years. Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “The Plumed Serpent” arrives at the DMA as its second and final stop; do not miss this mystical show (special entry ticket required). “The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico,” at the Dallas Museum of Art, through November 25; dallasmuseumofart.org.
IMAGE: Sandaled Feet of Atlantid Warrior Column, Tula, Hidalgo, Mexico, Toltec civilization, A.D. 900 – 1200, at DMA