The Furst’s book, Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico, presents approximately sixty large-scale color photographs of art pieces representing the major cultures of pre-Columbian Mexico. The introduction describes the archaeological history of the area, and is a succinct text that holds no surprises for the expert and will be helpful for the general reader. The caption texts accompanying the photographs are descriptive and interpretative. The interpretations are, of course, debatable, but are offered with reason and are consistent.
The pieces chosen to be included in this photographic album are not new images; most, if not all, have been published before. The works of art are ordered by the same time and geographic framework that structured the introduction, and, therefore, nicely achieve a visual history to accompany the written.
Some of the photographs are poorly focused and some are clearly overexposed. The bibliography is limited. Nonetheless, the beautiful photograph by Justin Kerr of the “Codex-style Funerary Vase Painting, the apt descriptions, and the consistency of interpretation make the book one of the better additions to a coffee table.