New Witte exhibit uncovers the ancient life of Mayans


Photos Courtesy of The Witte Museum

Robert Avila

Photos Courtesy of The Witte Museum
Photos Courtesy of The Witte Museum

On Saturday, May 14th the largest traveling exhibition in the United States “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed,” will be the first featured in the long awaited Mays Family Center at the Witte Museum on Broadway.

The inaugural opening of the 17,000-square-foot facility will set a major milestone for the Witte, which will add 100,000 square feet to the campus, part of a $100 million renovation campaign.

“What we have here is basically a big box, with 10,000 square feet and 17-foot-high ceilings,” stated Witte CEO Marise McDermott in an interview with the Express News about the new Mays Family Center facility. “So every summer, the Witte will host a blockbuster exhibition, then for the remainder of the year we have this beautiful, 820-seat auditorium to host everything from school programs to corporate luncheons to galas.”

“Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed,” will be Mays Family Center’s first exhibition, a hands-on interactive touring exhibition exploring Mayan culture. The exhibit will showcase more than 230 artifacts in seven different environments, and will house 27 interactive features.

The exhibition will be the largest ever featured at the Witte and will showcase the new and improved capabilities of the campus, which can bring a new line of exhibitions that previously had to be turned down due to spacing.

In the 10,000 square foot exhibit “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed,” visitors have the opportunity to learn how the Maya built their towering temples and created their intricate calendar system. The hands-on activity stations featured allow guests to build Mayan arches, decipher hieroglyphs and learn ancient drilling techniques. “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” combines authentic artifacts with new and exciting multimedia and interactive, hands-on activities to reveal our deep ties to the Mayan civilization.

Photos Courtesy of The Witte Museum
Photos Courtesy of The Witte Museum

The exhibition was designed to give visitors a view of the varying cross-section of Mayan life from the divine kings who ruled cities to the artisans and laborers at the forefront of Maya society. Visitors at the exhibit will have the opportunity to see spectacular examples of Maya artistry made by great artists of their time, and will be able to examine objects from everyday life and get a look at the scientific work being carried out across Maya sites in Central America and Mexico.

Finishing her description of the the exhibition, McDermott states, “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed beautifully represents the impact the Maya had on the world we live in today. The exhibition is immersive, so that entire families can experience the way Mayans lived, learning their calendars, mathematics, and cosmology through interactive opportunities. The exhibition is massive, the largest ever at the Witte, so schedule a longer than average time to enjoy the exhibition, demonstrations and programs.”

The exhibition will run from May 14 through Sept. 5. Tickets to the event can be pre-ordered at the Witte’s website or on site during the event.