Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Pot of Gold

By Eva Fognell. Curator Thaw Collection of American Indian Art
While many familiar objects from the Thaw Collection are currently on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, we are installing several rarely-seen objects into the Thaw gallery. One of the pieces I am very excited about is a jar from the Picuris pueblo in New Mexico made by artist Anthony Durand (1956-2009). The Picuris geographical area contains a micaceous material that produces a high luster when used as slip and gives the jars a golden glow.
When Durand returned to Picuris pueblo in 1976, he became intent on preventing the Picuris micaceous tradition of pottery from dying out. With inspiration from his grandmother, and using an old and unsigned Picuris pot as an example, he was able to reproduce the traditional golden color and high luster that has since become standard to his works. Pottery fragments from the ruins of the old Picuris pueblo have also inspired some of his molded detail. Since the pottery of Picuris was traditionally made for cooking, it has no painted decorations but instead includes sculpted details. You can see these in the detail of the jar. Anthony Durand received several awards and honorable mention at the Santa Fe Indian Market.

I’ll keep you posted on other remarkable objects as they get installed for Spring re-opening.
I hope many of our visitors will be as enthralled by this golden pot as I am! Yes, we do have a pot of gold!

Above: Jar, 1994, by Anthony Durand (1956-2009) Picuris, New Mexico, micaeceous clay, T0435.

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin