Casas Grandes and the Ceramic Art of the Ancient Southwest
April 22-August 13, 2006
Curator: Richard Townsend, curator of Amerindian art
The Art Institute of Chicago
In the deserts and mountains of the American Southwest and Northwestern Mexico, there flourished ancient Indian communities whose ceramics are among the most accomplished in the world. Bearing plumed and horned serpents, macaws, and lively geometric designs, these objects reveal an unknown story in the art and culture of Southwestern American Indian antiquity. This innovative exhibition highlights the imaginative graphic complexity and distinctive symbolism of Casas Grandes ceramics with vessels from c. 1250-1450.
Catalogue: In conjunction with the exhibition is a beautifully illustrated, 214-page catalogue. An essay by exhibition curator Richard F. Townsend situates the exceptional achievements of the Casas Grandes potters within the context of the other major ceramic traditions of the greater Southwest. Accompanying essays discuss the complex iconography of these striking objects, and all of the vessels in the exhibition are presented in luxurious, full-color reproductions.