The ethnological collection of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art currently holds over one hundred objects from Latin America, and also various artifacts from other parts of the world (Asia, Oceania, Africa).
The pre-Columbian objects perfectly express the diversity of cultures that developed in Central and South America, from the third millennium BC to the arrival of the Conquistadores. Many of them are exceptional, both ancient and rare, as is this statue of a bifid tailed lizard, from the Guerrero State, or as is this Mayan urn, decorated with several heads of deities, each more impressive than the other.
The cultures of Colima, Nayarit, Diquis and the Olmec, Aztec and Maya civilizations, all of Central America, and in South America, the Andean cultures Inca and Moche, are well represented. With feathers, gold, silver, copper, tumbaga (alloy of copper and gold), with colourful terracotta, and a variety of local stones (andesite, granodiorite, turquoise, jade, lapis lazuli, serpentine,...), the collection is characterized by the variety of its themes reflectingcultures with strong imagination, where wildlife is omnipresent. Thus, it is an entire companyof monkeys, here on a golden pectoral, there on a jade plate, amphibians, birds, wild beasts (especially jaguars), reptiles and hybrid animals -like the famous “plumed coyote”- who, over time, have made the collection their home.
In addition, the collection is also rich with images of mere mortals, who are nevertheless representative of their culture: man becomes a jewel, a vase or a whistle, and the shaman, caught in a metamorphosis, becomes a jaguar or an owl. All these objects reflect the concerns of man who, fragile in the face of Nature, calls on complex rituals to soothe the fearsome gods; they also sometimes humorously paint a picture of everyday life (birth, war, magic, games, death).