The Archaeological Institute of America will celebrate its 130th anniversary by holding a gala on April 28 to honor Harrison Ford and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

The theme and décor of the AIA Gala will offer guests a unforgettable experience, providing a glimpse into ancient cultures and civilizations. In organizing the evening’s program, the AIA is pleased to partner with the Consulates, Trade Offices, and Tourism Boards of the following countries: Chile, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, and Peru. As a result, the auction, which includes archaeologically themed items, will feature exclusive tours to destinations across the globe, all of which are rich in art, culture, and archaeological sites. Also featured in the auction is a prize-winning piece of Guatemalan jade sculpture courtesy of the Guatemala Tourism Commission and the Guatemala Trade Commission.

The cocktail reception takes place in an atmosphere reminiscent of ancient Greece, with Corinthian columns and marble floors. Flowers native to Greece, and often represented in Greek art, will adorn the room. A living statue will evoke the goddess Athena, holding in her hand the Owl of Wisdom, symbolic of the knowledge that we hope to gain from archaeology and the inspiration for the AIA’s logo 130 years ago. Performing during the reception will be Kristi Shade, an alumna of The Manhattan School of Music and one of its most talented harpists.

The theme, now characterized by floral displays of dark red and black orchids, quickly changes as the Maya Feast begins. The menu has been created by Capitale’s award-winning Executive Chef Jason Munger with input from the AIA’s expert in Maya archaeology and a Maya descendant, as well as a Guatemalan chef. The chefs were challenged not only to cook with ingredients available to the ancient Maya but also to keep in mind the mythology related to them. Using traditional Maya folklore they have woven a culinary story dish by dish while fusing the ancient world with the new with creations such as Serrano Chile Mango Granita.

The mission of The Samuel H. Kress Foundation (est. 1929) is to sustain and carry out the original vision of its founder, Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955). The Foundation supports the work of individuals and institutions engaged with the appreciation, interpretation, preservation, study and teaching of the history of European art and architecture from antiquity to the dawn of the modern era.

Tickets to the event, and more information, are available here.

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