August 22, 2011 David Stuart To Present Fifth Kislak Lecture on September 16

Press Contact: Eric Allen (202) 707-7302
Public Contact: Catalina Gomez (202) 707-5404

Art historian and archaeologist David Stuart, the foremost expert on Mayan hieroglyphs, will deliver the fifth Jay I. Kislak Lecture titled “Deciphering the Art of the Ancient Maya and the Year 2012” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street, S.E., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, the Hispanic Division and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division, the lecture is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required.

In his lecture, Stuart will explore the Maya’s prediction of “the end of the world in 2012” and discuss his most recent book on that subject: “The Order of Days: The Maya World and the Truth about 2012.”

Stuart received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1989 for his work on Mayan writing. He holds the Linda and David Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing at the University of Texas in Austin and is also the director of the university’s multi-disciplinary Mesoamerican Center. He has conducted major excavation projects in Mexico and Central America. His book “Ten Phonetic Syllables” (1987) became the basis for the deciphering of Mayan hieroglyphs. Among his other works, he published a volume in 2003 in the Peabody Museum’s series titled “Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions.”

The fifth Kislak lecture is a component of the Kislak American Studies Program established at the Library of Congress in 2004 by the Jay I. Kislak Foundation. Previous lecturers were Jared Diamond, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Michael Coe and Jonathan Spence.

In addition to lecture series, the Kislak gift includes an important collection of books, manuscripts, historical documents, maps, and art of the Americas. A permanent rotating exhibition of materials from the Kislak Collection, “Exploring the Early Americas,” opened in December 2007; it can found at The Kislak gift also provides for fellowships to study its materials.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at


PR 11-148
ISSN 0731-3527