Image: Funerary Vessel (detail), Jalisco, Western Shaft Tomb, 400 BCE - 200 CE, Jalisco or Nayarit, Mexico, clay. Collection Mingei International Museum. Gift from the Living Trust of Donald B. Robertson. Photo by Lynton Gardiner. 2017-06-001. 2005-T44-001

On View

Aug 29, 2006 - Jan 15, 2007

Curated By

Rob Sidner and Jerry Maloney

During the pre-Columbian era (3000 BC – 1492 AD) the inhabitants of Mexico made art for daily use and ritual. Many of these objects, fashioned from clay, stone, wood, metal and woven into textiles and baskets, were of rare quality and sophistication.

Clay and stone objects were highlighted in this exhibition. Clay was modeled by hand, perfectly formed without benefit of a wheel. Vessels and figures were often burnished and / or painted. Stone figures, vessels and decorative objects were beautifully executed and often intricately carved. Pre-Columbian pottery and stone carving abound with material from myth and legend—gods, kings, heroes and shamans, as well as realistically portrayed people going about their daily lives. Indigenous and fantastic animals were also decorative themes. Many of these motifs have survived, changed by the Conquest and the passing of time, to be interpreted anew in contemporary folk art.

This twofold exhibition, ARTES DE MÉXICO, offered a glimpse of a contemporary, evolving civilization with ancient roots—a rich and vital tradition of art and culture.

The exhibitions were accompanied by the Museum documentary publication İVivan los Artesanos!; playing throughout the run of the exhibition was the film Artes de México.

On September 9, storyteller Marilyn McPhie entertained with Mexican folk tales and a guitarist played traditional music. On November 2, Day of the Dead was celebrated with an Early Evening at the Museum event. Icarus Puppet Company gave a parade puppet-making workshop on November 11 and a mask-making workshop on December 9.