Incidents of Discovery The Kelemen Journals, 1932-1964 by Pal and Elisabeth Kelemen. Edited by Judith Hancock Sandoval. Foreword written by Dr. Mary Miller of Yale University. Pal Kelemen, a Hungarian historian, was a leading authority on the pre-Columbian art and civilization of America. His two volume Medieval American Art was a pioneering venture, covering and documenting the Maya, Aztec, and Inca arts, approaching his subject from the point of view of art history, combining it with the study of archeology, anthropology, and ethnology. His wife, Elisabeth, was an American-born opera singer who gave up her budding career to become Pal’s fellow explorer and photographer. This is their story; a romantic tale of discovery in an age when all travel in the tropics of Central and South America, and much of Mexico, was an adventure.
Incidents of Discovery of Art in the Americas, 1932 -1964
About the Authors
In 1933, Elisabeth Kelemen visited the Mayan ruins of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula with her husband, Pál, and both were soon captivated by the then-little-known art of the Maya. Together, they traveled to remote ruins and sites from New Mexico to the jungles of Central America, Elisabeth Kelemen documented their travels in journals and photographs for the next thirty years. Elisabeth, a Julliard music student who gave up her budding opera career to become Pál’s fellow explorer and photographer, was never recognized for her contribution to the Kelemen oeuvre—this book shows her flair for capturing the fast-disappearing world around her, both in heartfelt, affecting prose and in documentary-style photographs.
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