Born in Siberia during a turbulent period in Russian history, Tatiana Proskouriakoff came to America with her family when her father was commissioned during World War I by Czar Nicholas II to oversee the production of munitions in the United States. With the Czar’s abdication and the onset of the Russian Revolution, the Proskouriakoffs’ brief visit became a relocation.
Proskouriakoff excelled in art and completed a degree in architecture. She entered the field of Mesoamerican archaeology in the mid-1930s as a draftsperson and artist for a University of Pennsylvania archaeological project in the Petén rainforest of Guatemala. During her career, which spanned fifty years, Proskouriakoff became known for her thorough scholarship. In her landmark work, An Album of Maya Architecture, Proskouriakoff combined her artistic talents and architectural background to produce a vision of ancient Maya sites, such as Copán and Chichen Itza, at the height of their grandeur. By the end of her life, she had become one of the premier scholars of Mayan civilization.
In this first full-length biography of Proskouriakoff, Char Solomon chronicles the life of this remarkable woman.
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