Elizabeth Hill Boone is a specialist in the pre-Columbian and early colonial art of Latin America, with an emphasis on Mexico. Formerly Director of Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., she has taught art history at Tulane University since 1995. In 2006-08, she was the Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art. Her research interests range from the history of collecting to systems of writing and notation; they are grounded geographically in Aztec Mexico and extend temporally for at least a century after the Spanish invasion. Boone earned her B.A. in fine arts at William and Mary in 1970. She then studied art history at California State University, Northridge, and completed her postgraduate degrees at the University of Texas at Austin, obtaining an M.A. in 1974 and a Ph.D in pre-Columbian art history in 1977.
"I am committed to understanding how humans communicate and record knowledge in ways that are exterior to alphabetic writing," says Boone. "Pictorial, notational, and diagrammatic systems are actually more efficient than 'writing' in conveying a broad array of data and opinion. The Aztecs and Incans recognized this in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as do scientists, artists, and advertisers today."
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