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Center for the Arts and Symbolism in Ancient America

The Center For Arts and Symbolism in Ancient America


The Center is dedicated to the research of art and symbolism of ancient indigenous Texans and other New World Peoples

Dr. Reilly's Spiro Exhibit Wins Awards

Congratulations to Dr. Frank Reilly, whose recent Spiro Exhibit and publication, in collaboration with Dr. Eric Singleton of the National Cowboy Museum, won three combined awards. 

The Spiro Publication won:

  • The Oklahoma Book of the Year Award for Design/Illustration/Photography. This is presented by the Oklahoma Center for the Book, which is sponsored by the library of Congress.
  • Mountain Plains Museum Association Book of the Year Award for Publication Design

 The Spiro exhibition won:

  • The Oklahoma Museum Association Outstanding Special Project Award.

Dr. Kent Reilly’s Sprio Exhibit Opens at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

“Spiro and the Art of the Mississippian World,” an exhibit co-curated by Dr. Kent Reilly, is now on display at the National Cowboy & Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  The exhibition features nearly 200 artifacts and explores the history of the Spiro culture from its humble beginnings to its rise as one of the premier cultural sites in all of North America.

The exhibit will be on display in Oklahoma City until May 9, 2021 before moving on to the Birmingham Museum of Art until February 6, 2022, and finally to the Dallas Museum of Art from March 13 – August 7, 2022.

A virtual look at the exhibit can be found on their Spiro Exhibit website.

Texas States Represented at Florida Tribe's Harvest Busk

Dr. Kent Reilly, along with current and former students, were recently invited to participate in the Harvest Busk of the Florida Tribe of the Eastern Creeks at the White Earth Community/Square Ground.

Dr. Reilly at Florida Harvest BuskSmall group at Florida Harvest Busk

Images have now been posted from the 2019 Southeastern Iconography Workshop.  The workshop was held May 24-26, 2019 on the Texas State University campus.  You can view the images on the Workshop page.

Dr. Kent Reilly recently participated in a School for Advanced Research Lecture Series

Spiro Archaeological Site: Travels on the Path of Souls

Reilly’s talk presented a survey of ritual themes of the ancient Caddo and Wichita peoples of western border lands of the Mississippi Valley. Reilly says, “I will familiarize my audience with the superb objects recovered from the Spirit Lodge, as well as draw them into a thematic understanding of both the magnificent objects and the cosmic event they are witnessing. The cosmology and the ritual world that these objects represent certainly will be strange, wonderful, and different to most of the viewing public, but my presentation should imbue respect as well as awe at their beauty and mystery.

You can find out more information about the talk on the SAR website or view photos from the Presidential Seminar.  

Reilly Event

Dr. Reilly Gave the Inaugural Presidential Address at the School of Advanced Research (SAR)

Dr. F. Kent Reilly III spoke at the inaugural School of Advanced Research (SAR) Presidential Address that closed a productive week discussing Spiroan artwork, heritage, and culture. The meeting at the SAR in Santa Fe was held preparation for the upcoming museum exhibition entitled Spiro and the Mississippian World. The exhibition will showcase Spiroan objects recovered from the site and feature a reconstruction of the Spirit Lodge as it was described in AD 1922. Museum visitors will be familiarized with artwork and religious iconography of Mississippian culture as it were AD 1400, and learn of the modern descendants who continue the artistic legacy. The exhibition is expected to travel within the United States and internationally to museums throughout the world, and is scheduled to open February 2018 at the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City, OK.