Bellarmine Museum Presents Native American Pottery from New Mexican Pueblos in Latest Exhibition

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Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Museum of Art presents "Fire & Earth: Native American Pottery from New Mexican Pueblos," which features nearly three dozen potted vessels from ten different Pueblos in New Mexico. Drawn from a private collection, the exhibition is on view from Thursday, June 27, 2013, through Thursday, October 3, 2013.

Acoma Pueblo Fine Line Jar, 1st half of 20th century, Private Collection, Connecticut

"Pueblo pottery bears witness to the incredible legacy of the Pueblo people. It is a testament to the strength of their ancient roots and rich cultural heritage," said Bellarmine Museum Director Dr. Jill Deupi.

For hundreds of years, the native inhabitants of the American Southwest have cultivated a tradition of pottery that continues today as a vibrant, highly skilled art form. For its latest exhibition, Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Museum of Art presents "Fire & Earth: Native American Pottery from New Mexican Pueblos," which features nearly three dozen potted vessels from ten different Pueblos in New Mexico. Drawn from a private collection, these objects inspire not only with their formal values but also through their rich cultural histories. The exhibition is on view from Thursday, June 27, 2013, through Thursday, October 3, 2013. The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center is a Community Partner for this show. Exclusive media partner is Morris Media. There will be an opening reception on June 27, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

A wide range of styles and forms of traditional and contemporary pottery are on view and include works by noted 20th-century artisans such as Maria and Julian Martinez, Helen Naha, and Robert Tenoria. Historical works from the late 19th and early 20th century are also featured. Bellarmine Museum Director Dr. Jill Deupi notes: “Pueblo pottery bears witness to the incredible legacy of the Pueblo people. It is a testament to the strength of their ancient roots and rich cultural heritage. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase these remarkable objects in our gallery and to provide our visitors, who may not yet be familiar with this class of objects, with new opportunities to broaden their horizons, both aesthetically and intellectually.”

Using techniques and styles passed from one generation to the next, modern Pueblo artists have created pottery characterized by graceful forms and decorated with geometric patterns and stylized symbolic forms drawn from nature. Fascinated with Pueblo pottery, European-Americans began actively collecting such objects around 1880, when the expanded rail network opened up the West and ended the relative isolation of most Pueblos. Private collectors, such as Albert C. Barnes, formed extraordinary collections of historical and modern pottery to incorporate into their collections of paintings and decorative arts. Historical museums such as the Smithsonian began collecting and documenting the work of various Pueblos and of individual artists. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

An essential component of Fairfield University, the Bellarmine Museum of Art cultivates, inspires, and enriches its many audiences while stewarding the artistic and cultural objects entrusted to its care. The Bellarmine Museum of Art is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on select Saturdays. Admission is free. For more information, call the Bellarmine Museum of Art at (203) 254-4046, or visit http://www.fairfield.edu/museum. The Bellarmine Museum of Art is located in Bellarmine Hall on the campus of Fairfield University, 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. For directions, visit http://www.fairfield.edu/arts/bell_info.html#directions

Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

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Michael Horyczun
Fairfield University
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