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Explore the history of the region at an exhibit of baskets and pottery made by Southwestern Indian tribes

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"Stories in Fiber and Clay: Baskets and Ceramics of the Southwest"
Sam Noble Oklahoma Natural History Museum
2401 Chautauqua, Norman
Daily, through May 5
$5 for adults, $4 seniors, $3 children 6-17, 5-under free.
325-4712, www.snomnh.ou.edu.

Looking back, the only way to know today how the people of yesterday lived is by examining what they left behind.

An exhibition developed by the Sam Noble Oklahoma Natural History Museum, 2401 Chautauqua in Norman, highlights more than 80 examples of pottery and baskets in the "Stories in Fiber and Clay: Baskets and Ceramics of the Southwest" exhibit, which includes works selected from the permanent collections of the museum and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. The exhibit is on display through May 5.

Ceramics in the exhibition include both historic and contemporary works by Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Pima, Western Apache and all of the federally recognized Pueblos of New Mexico. These include hand-coiled pots and jars, such as the classic "Maria" pots and Santa Clara Pueblo black-on-black pots, which have long been prized for their craftsmanship and beauty. Those pieces from the museum's ethnology collection date mostly from the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

Also featured are pottery pieces on loan from Fred Jones. The collection is comprised largely of pots from the Puebloan pottery revival in the early 20th century and includes some of the most notable names in Southwestern ceramics: Lucy Lewis, Maria Martinez and Margaret Tafoya.
The interpretive narrative of the exhibition focuses on the stories of the individual artists "? mostly women "? as well as the families and communities instrumental in preserving the traditions.

"We understand baskets and pots because they are universal," said Daniel Swan, the museum's curator of ethnology, who developed exhibition. "Containers are critically important to humanness. It's how we organize our 'stuff ' and transport it. Baskets and pots combine utilitarian function with aesthetic appeal."

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 seniors, $3 children 6-17. Kids under 5 are free. For more information, call 325-4712 or visit www.snomnh.ou.edu."?LeighAnne Manwarren

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