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Curator's Choice: Indian Pottery

DATES September 20, 1985 through December 02, 1985
  • September 20, 1985 Indian Pottery from the American Southwest, an exhibition of over 70 pieces selected from The Brooklyn Museum’s extensive collection, is the focus of the Curator’s Choice exhibition which opens in the Lobby Gallery on September 20 and will be on view through December 2, 1985. Most of this collection has not been on public display for over 50 years.

    Indian Pottery from the American Southwest represents almost 1,500 years of work in clay by Native Americans in the Southwest. This exhibition demonstrates through a variety of forms, decorative techniques and designs the Indian potters mastery of this medium.

    The American Southwest as a geographic region includes most of New Mexico and Arizona as well as small sections of Utah and Colorado. Here Indians have lived in compact villages called pueblos for centuries, or, in a Pueblo man’s words, “from days beyond history’s record, far past any living memory, deep into the time of legend.” Striking confirmation of this long residence comes from objects made of clay, a medium readily available and almost magically durable. Archeologists have established an unbroken sequence of Pueblo ceramic production beginning at least as early as 300 A.D. and continuing until the present.

    The Brooklyn Museum’s collection of American Southwest Indian pottery began in 1900 with a donation of prehistoric pots. Between 1903 and 1911 the Museum’s first Curator of Ethnology, R. Stewart Culin, acquired many fine and rare vessels on several expeditions to the Southwest.

    The Brooklyn Museum’s “Curator’s Choice” series is made possible by a generous grant from A & S.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1985, 068.
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