The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of May 24, 2024

Castillo, Chichén Itzá

Castillo, Chichén Itzá

(American, 1891–1979)
Image: 23.7 x 34.1 cm (9 5/16 x 13 7/16 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 61 cm (20 x 24 in.)
© 1979 Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

Laura Gilpin wrote that "photography uses waves of light, composed and harmonized to express an idea."


Laura Gilpin traveled to Yucatán, Mexico, in 1932 to document the Maya ruins at Chichén Itzá. This image shows the site’s most famous structure, known as both El Castillo and the Kukulkán (Feathered Serpent) Pyramid. Gilpin wrote that the building “stands with majestic dignity, a supreme expression of the thought and feeling of a great people.” She chose to shoot it at sunset, when the monument’s compact, massive form contrasted with delicate, lacy backlit clouds. At the right, a dramatic sunbeam bursts down, mirroring the pyramid’s sloping side.
  • Stories From Storage. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (February 7-May 16, 2021).
    Signs of Life: Recent Photography Acquisitions. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (November 22, 2003-April 7, 2004).
  • {{cite web|title=Castillo, Chichén Itzá|url=false|author=Laura Gilpin|year=1932|access-date=24 May 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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