Andean House Models


Inspired by the recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Design for Eternity, a new exhibition of Pre-Colombian architectural models, David Bernstein Fine Art is hosting an online exhibit of similar models from the Andes.

Our collection was assembled over a twenty year period, with examples from Chavin, Moche, Nasca, and Chancay with two examples from the Calima culture from Colombia.

Pre-Colombian models represent a variety of building types from modest domestic structures to elaborate palaces.

The models are an artistic portrayal of the architecture they represent, and were used for mythological, symbolic and ritual purposes, rather than as utilitarian construction models.

The models reflect the status of elite individuals, and were presumably placed at burial sites, where they symbolically represented important buildings and ensured favorable conditions in an afterlife.

We can derive certain information from the models, as they can be identifiers of a particular high status lord, religious deity, or even a specific ceremonial structure.