In Memoriam

MERLE GREENE ROBERTSON, who merged her loves of art and history into a groundbreaking career in archaeology, died April 22 at her home in San Francisco. She was 97.

A long-time Friends of Ethnic Art member, Mrs. Robertson was a leading researcher of ancient Mayan civilization and a passionate teacher who led hundreds of local students on adventures amid the ruins of Central America and Mexico.

Mrs. Robertson pioneered a type of archaeological rubbing, using rice paper and Japanese ink, that elevated the standard technique for recording images of artifacts to an art form, managing to preserve details that have since deteriorated and were often missed in photography.  More than 2,000 of her rubbings are preserved at Tulane University in New Orleans.


I Did Not Die

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there.

I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the mountain goat on snow.

I am the sunlight on Maya grain.

I am the gentle jungle rain.

When you awake in the morning hush,

    I am the soft uplifting rush

    of quetzal birds in a highland flight.

I am the Venus star at night.

I visit now Hunahpu and Xbalanque,

    in the forever ever land of God K.

I am the Mother Goddess

    of Palenque’s past.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there.

I did not die.




VIRGINIA FIELDS dies at 58; scholar of early Mesoamerican art, archaeology at LACMA  In her 22 years at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Virginia Fields helped make the museum a vital center of Latin American culture.

Mesoweb memorial web page: