Exposing the Maya: Early Archaeological Photography in the Americas by Katia Sainson
Exposing the Maya focuses on the works of 19th-century photographers Desire Charnay, Alice and Augustus Le Plongeon, Teobert Maler, Alfred Maudslay and Adela Breton, all of whom were masters of their craft and travelled extensively to sites in Mexico and Central America. The over 100 selected images in this volume, together with nearly 40 additional contextual images featuring sketches from travel journals, hand-coloured drawings, prints, and maps, are combined with the photographers' own words found in their published writings, journals and letters to provide insight into their methods, context for their images, and capture the realities of field work in Mesoamerica. Accessible and highly illustrated, Exposing the Maya features rare and important early photographs of the archaeological ruins and remains of the great Mayan and Aztec civilizations of Mesoamerica, from an age that witnessed the evolution of photographic techniques and brought to life the long-faded murals and decoration of these ruins. This is an absorbing story of incredible journeys, the challenging conditions under which these pioneering photographers produced their images, and how they perceived the remnants of these ancient indigenous cultures in modern-day Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.