Fire & Earth – Ephemera



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Exhibition Catalogue for Fire and Earth: Native American Pottery from New Mexican Pueblos. Exhibition on view at the Bellarmine Museum of Art from June 27 - October 3, 2013.

First created nearly two millennia ago, Pueblo pottery is remarkable not only for its formal beauty but also for its cultural importance. Centuries after the Anasazi (or ancestral Pueblo people) first began making potted vessels from coils of tempered earth - rubbed smooth and painted with local clays, minerals, and vegetal pigments - their successors continue to do the same. An ancestral whisper, this knowledge was (and is) passed down from artist to artist, generation after generation, ensuring the survival of both ancient pottery techniques and the cultures that birthed them. Herein lies the beauty of objects whose value is truly much more than skin deep: They embody their creators’ heritage.

As material manifestations of the different Pueblos’ values and experiences, these pots bear witness to the remarkable histories of their peoples. From the establishment of fixed and settled villages to the successive waves of conquest and all that this implies, the earthenware vessels created by New Mexico’s native populations have been buffeted by the winds of change. Yet despite subtle shifts in their silhouettes and decorative elements, the pots on view in the Bellarmine Museum of Art’s Fire & Earth: Native American Pottery from New Mexican Pueblosexhibition remind us that Pueblo pottery has never strayed too far from its ancient forebears, both cultural and aesthetic; a testament to the strength of these peoples’ roots and the depth of their cultural legacies.

Publication Date

Summer 6-27-2013


Bellarmine Museum of Art

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Fire and Earth: Native American Pottery from New Mexican Pueblos - Catalogue