Research Fellow and Director, Rock Art Archive, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
Dr. Jo Anne Van Tilburg has served since 1997 as director of the UCLA Rock Art Archive. Under her direction, the archive received the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award. She is founding director and principal investigator of the Easter Island Statue Project (EISP). For nearly three decades she and her codirector, Rapa Nui artist Cristián Arévalo Pakarati, have carried out an island-wide survey to locate, document, and depict more than one thousand of the monolithic statues (moai) for which the island is world famous. Dr. Van Tilburg is an innovative, widely published researcher with a passionate and long-standing commitment to Pacific studies. She is also an enthusiastic advocate for the preservation of Easter Island’s patrimony and conservation of the statues. Her research interests address the integration of symbolism and structure and the complex ways in which humans employ cultural resources, social practices, and ancient aesthetics to relate to and alter, shape, and impact the natural landscape. She explores social processes and the interactive roles of art, history, and ecology in ongoing field and museum studies.