Maya Ruins Revisited: In the Footsteps of Teobert Maler

Peyton Wright Gallery and Peyton Wright Publishing are pleased to announce an exhibition and book signing for William Frej’s new book Maya Ruins Revisited: In the Footsteps of Teobert Maler. There will be an opening reception and book signing on  Friday, October 2 from 5-7pm. There will be an artist’s talk and book signing on Saturday, October 3 from 1-3pm. The gallery will observe protocols of the New Mexico Department of Health, and masks will be required for all patrons.

This stunning, substantial volume documents William Frej’s forty-five year search for remote Maya sites primarily in Guatemala and Mexico, inspired in large part by his discovery of the work of German-Austrian explorer Teobert Maler, who photographed them in the late nineteenth and  early twentieth centuries. Many of Frej’s magnificent photographs are juxtaposed here with historic photographs taken by Maler, and reveal the changes in the landscape that have occurred in the intervening century. This unique pairing of archival material with current imagery of the same locations will be a significant addition to the literature on this ancient civilization that continues to captivate scholars and general readers alike. The book provides extended captions for all of the photographs, including their historical context in relation to Maler’s images, which are archived at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, the Ibero-American Institute in Berlin, Brigham Young University, the University of New Mexico, and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. 

Maya Ruins Revisited offers an engaging and stimulating visual journey to many remote and seldom-seen Maya sites, and also will serve as valuable documentation of places that are rapidly being overcome by forces of nature and man.

William Frej (b. 1947) has spent decades photographing remote cultures around the world while living in Indonesia, Poland, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan, as well as other remote, mountainous regions of Asia. He has visited over 180 Maya archaeological sites in Mexico and Guatemala, over half of which were first photographed by Teobert Maler. His work has been featured  in a number of venues in the United States and Mexico and is included in a number of private and academic collections in the United States, Europe and Asia, including special collections at the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale, the Green Library at Stanford, the Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley and the Zimmerman Library at the University of New Mexico.

William Frej’s photographs will be on exhibit at the gallery through October 31. Mayan Ruins Revisited is available at the gallery and may be ordered from the University of Oklahoma Press.

Read the profile in Pasatiempo.

Read the preview in the Santa Fe Reporter.

About the Artist
William Frej has been photographing indigenous people for over 40 years, while living in Indonesia, Poland, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Mexico, as well as other remote mountainous regions of Asia, documenting the changing lifestyles and architecture of many of the world’s unique cultures. In 2014, his one-person photographic exhibition Enduring Cultures was featured at Galeria La Eskalera in Merida, Mexico as part of a citywide arts festival. It included recent black and white and color photography from Afghanistan, Upper Mustang, Nepal, and San Augustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico. During 2015-2016, his photography was featured in the exhibition which opened June 2015 at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, titled Tradicion, Devocion Y Vida: 80 years of Black and White Photography in New Mexico and Mexico. His photography of the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) in Oaxaca, Mexico was exhibited October-December 2015 in a one-person show at Peters Projects Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Black and white photographs were featured in a major exhibition entitled Chimayo: A Pilgrimage Through Two Centuries at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2016. His work was featured in the exhibition The Maya at Peyton Wright Gallery also in 2016. His work was also featured in Mirror, Mirror: Photographs of Frida Kahlo in 2017 at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art in Santa Fe.

Mr. Frej’s photographs were also featured in one-person exhibitions, The Nomads of Kyrgyzstan, in Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2008 and Himalayan Pilgrimage, at the Museum of Asia and the Pacific in Warsaw, Poland in 1998. His photographic work, Taninbar to Tibet, was featured in a one-person show at the Duta Fine Arts Museum and Gallery in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1991. Mr. Frej’s other exhibitions include the Tucson Art Center in 1972, The Eye Gallery in San Francisco in 1977, and the San Francisco Arts Festival in 1976 and 1977. His photographs of Peru received purchase awards from the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco Arts Festival in the 1970s.

His photographs of the Himalaya, India and Africa were featured in the Edwin Bernbaum book, Sacred Mountains of the World, and his photographs of India’s Tilwara camel fair were highlighted in Adventure Travel Magazine. Mr. Frej’s photographic work is represented in numerous public and private collections throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia.

www.williamfrejphotography.com