©2008-2017 Franck Mercurio.
All photos copyright Franck Mercurio, unless otherwise stated

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Influence of Precolumbian Earthworks on Modern Art

The ancient Native American earthworks of southern Ohio inspired many artists of the 20th and 21st centuries including Isamu Noguchi, Barnett Newman, Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, and Maya Lin. This research project looks at the archaeological sources of their inspiration.

Serpent Mound in Ohio,
photo © Ohio Historical Society
Robert Smithson's
"Spiral Jetty"
Hopewell earthworks at
Mound City in Ohio
Maya Lin's "Wavefield",
photograph © Jerry L. Thompson
The Newark Earthworks as
published by Squier and Davis, 1847
Isamu Noguchi, St. Louis
competition entry © Ezra Stoller
Map of Michael Heizer's
effigy tumuli at Buffalo Rock, IL
Michael Heizer's "Catfish"
effigy tumulus at Buffalo Rock