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Anthony Meyer

 Ph.D. Candidate · Art Historian


Anthony Meyer is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he specializes in Indigenous arts of the Americas and the global Early Modern. Originally from the Carolinas, Meyer also holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he curated a thesis on Maya ceramics and their fraught portrayals in museums.

While at UCLA, Meyer has expanded his scholarship through several collaborative, interdisciplinary projects. He has participated in McGill University’s Early Modern Conversions, which investigates the role of religious conversion in the Early Modern world, and Making Worlds, a SSHRC-funded project that looks at migration, movement, and modes of making in the Early Modern period. Meyer also assisted an international exhibition entitled Forces of Nature: Ancient Maya Arts from LACMA at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Presently, he coordinates the Architecture Lab at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and co-organizes the Indigenous Material and Visual Culture of the Americas (IMVCA) working group with the Center for 17th– & 18th-Century Studies at UCLA..

Meyer’s fieldwork has spanned time and space, including pre-Invasion sculpture from the Cauca Valley in Colombia, contemporary Mapuche artists in Chile, Nahua religious art in Mexico, and the reception of Mexica objects in sixteenth-century Europe (Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany).


Ph.D. Candidate in Art History
University of California Los Angeles (in progress)

Major Field: Indigenous Arts of the Americas (North, Central, South)
Minor Field: Early Modern Global  

Dissertation: “The Givers of Things: Nahua Religious Leaders and the Art of Making Gifts in the Mexica and Early Modern Worlds”

Certificate in Early Modern Studies, Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies, 2019

M.A. in Art History
University of California Los Angeles, 2017

M.A. Thesis: “Repositioning the Middle: Movement, Sculpture, and the Body in the Central Cauca Valley”

B.A. in Anthropology & Archaeology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013

Highest distinction and highest honors

B.A. Thesis: “Housed Within: a museum display and investigation of a Classic Maya household at K’axob”


Meyer’s current research explores Nahua artistic and architectural production over the course of the Mexica empire (A.D. 1325 – 1521) through colonial New Spain and the wider Euro-Atlantic. His dissertation, “The Givers of Things: Nahua Religious Leaders and the Art of Making Gifts in the Mexica and Early Modern Worlds” confronts the colonial erasure of Nahua religious leaders (tlamacazque) by examining the central roles these leaders and their material and spatial practices played in the Mexica and Early Modern worlds. Through linguistic, visual, material, and textual analysis, Meyer investigates how tlamacazque studied, transformed, and gifted religious objects, or “things,” such as painted censers, adorned knives, and paper and incense sculpture in the Mexica calmecac and ceremonial precinct of Tenochtitlan. Meyer also explores how tlamacazque knowledge and making were entwined with those of Indigenous, African, and European groups in New Spain following Iberian Invasion, as well as how these individuals and their objects transformed understandings of religious art and devotion in Spain and Italy.

Outside of his dissertation, Meyer’s research interests include semiotics and linguistic relativity, synesthesia and embodied experience, transatlantic exchange, and the materiality of religions. For his graduate research, he has received fellowships from the Fulbright Association, the Huntington Library, the John Carter Brown Library, the Renaissance Society of America, the Society for Architectural Historians, and the Social Science Research Council.


Huntington Travel Grant for Study Abroad
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, 2021

RSA-Samuel H. Kress Fellowship in Renaissance Art History
Renaissance Society of America, 2021

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship
U.S. Department of Education & COMEXUS, 2020-21

Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
Social Sciences Research Council, 2020-21

CCL/Mellon Foundation Seminar in Curatorial Practice (Funded Participant)
Center for Curatorial Leadership, 2020

Helen Watson Buckner Memorial Fellowship
John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, 2020

Fulbright IIE García-Robles
U.S. Department of Education & COMEXUS, 2020 (declined)

Bancroft Library Summer Study Fellowship
Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2019

Edilia and François-Auguste de Montêquin Junior Scholar Fellowship in Iberian and Latin American Architecture
Society of Architectural Historians, 2019

Tinker Field Research Grant
Latin American Institute, UCLA, 2018

Summer Institute for Technical Studies in Art (Funded Participant)
Harvard Art Museum & Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University, 2018

Graduate Research Mentorship Academic Year Fellowship
Graduate Division, UCLA, 2017 – 18

Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Fellowship
Graduate Division, UCLA, 2017 & 2018

Graduate Fellowship
Fundación AMA, Santiago, Chile, 2017

Mellon Foundation Field Research Grant
Latin American Institute, UCLA, 2016

Mellon Summer Graduate Research Fellowship
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2016

Art Council Endowed Scholarship in Art History
Department of Art History, UCLA, 2016

Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Academic Year Fellowship
U.S. Department of Education & IDIEZ, 2015-16

Eugene V. Cota-Robles Diversity Fellowship
Graduate Division, UCLA, 2015-16

Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Distinction
Dean’s Office, UCLA, 2015 & 2017


Patricia McCarron McGinn Memorial Award
Department of Art History, University of California Los Angeles, 2020

First Place Award for Best Paper
44th Annual Cleveland Art History Symposium
Cleveland Art Museum and Case Western Reserve University, 2018

Early Modern Summer Mentorship Award
Center for 17th– & 18th-Century Studies, UCLA, 2018

Ralph C. Altman Award
Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 2018


“Stony Bundles and Precious Wrappings: The Making of Patio Crosses in Sixteenth-Century New Spain.” In Conversion Machines in Early Modern Europe: Apparatus, Artifice, Body, edited by Bronwen Wilson and Paul Yachnin. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press. Accepted.

“Thinking with History: Sixteenth-Century Epidemics and Colonial Legacies in the Americas.” Backdirt 47 (February 2021): 30-37.

8 catalog entries: “Maize, Rain, and Harvest in Greater Mesoamerica,” “Creatures of the Sky,” “Creatures of the Earth,” “Creatures of the Water,” “Animals in Olmec Art,” “Ballgame among the Maya and across Mesoamerica,” “Altered States: Tobacco and Hallucinogens,” and “Offerings.” In Forces of Nature: Ancient Maya Art from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (自然的力量——洛杉矶郡艺术博物馆藏古代玛雅艺术品), edited by Megan E. O’Neil. Beijing: Cultural Relics Press, 2018. Exhibition catalogue.  

Book review of Afro-Caribbean Religious Arts: Popular Expression of Cultural Inheritance in Espiritismo and Santería, by Kristine Juncker. African Arts 50, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 93-4.


“Through Tlamacazque Eyes: Religious Art and Architecture in the Mexica and Transatlantic Worlds,”
Fowler Art Museum, University of California Los Angeles. September 2019.

“Bundled Metaphors: Carving and Experiencing Patio Crosses in Sixteenth-Century New Spain,”
American Art History Graduate Student Symposium, Yale University. April 2019.

“Coming into Contact? Spatial Experiences of Patio Crosses in Sixteenth-Century New Spain,”
44th Annual Cleveland Symposium, Cleveland Museum of Art. October 2018.

“Mediators of Life and Death: Sculpted Bodies from the Central Cauca Valley,”
Graduate Student Symposium, Department of Art History, University of Southern California. October 2017.


Dutch (advanced)
French (advanced)
German (advanced)
Italian (advanced)

Nahuatl, Huasteca & Classical (advanced)
Portuguese (intermediate)
Spanish (advanced)
Yucatec Maya (basic)