The Carlos Museum's collection of art of the ancient Americas is substantial, consisting of more than 2,300 pieces. Of these, more than 1,300 are from the William C. and Carol W. Thibadeau collection and nearly 500 are from the Laurence C. and Cora W. Witten II Collection. The museum is fortunate in the breadth and depth of the collection as a whole. All three principal cultural centers of the Americas are represented: Mesoamerica, Central America, and the Andes. Most of the important art-producing cultures—from the Maya and Aztec to the Chavín to the Inca—can be appreciated during a visit to the permanent collection galleries. The Carlos Museum's collections are unusually strong in ancient Costa Rica, featuring over 600 works from all periods. In March 2018, the museum opened a permanent installation of Native North American art.

More than 2,000 high resolution images of works of art in the Carlos Museum's collections are available online.


South America, Central Andes, North Coast, Chímu-Lambayeque. Late Intermediate Period, A.D. 1000 - 1470
Gold-copper alloy and silver alloy, 3 x 4 7/16 in. diameter of disk (7.5 x 11.1 cm diameter of disk).
Gift of Laurence C. and Cora W. Witten II