Grounded in Clay is a collaborative exhibit curated by the Pueblo Pottery Collective and organized by the School for Advanced Research and the Vilcek Foundation.
JUL 13, 2023 – JUN 4, 2024
Special Online Presentation by the Vilcek Foundation
Pueblo Pottery: Stories in Clay
An especially notable contribution of the Vilcek Foundation to Grounded in Clay is a digital resource called Pueblo Pottery: Stories in Clay. This remarkable website takes viewers into the details of many of the ceramic objects included in the exhibition and, even more important, offers video and audio accounts of the objects’ cultural and personal meaning to members of the Pueblo Pottery Collective. The site also offers historical background on Pueblo societies and information on the significance of the Pueblo pottery tradition.
This resource is also accessible to visitors to the part of Grounded in Clay displayed at the Vilcek Foundation’s offices in New York (21 East 70th Street). Appointments to view the collection at the Vilcek Foundation can be made here.
An impressive survey of more than 100 pieces of historic Pueblo pottery, Grounded in Clay is remarkable for the fact that its content has been selected by Pueblo community members. Rather than relying on Anglo-American art historical interpretations, this book foreground Native American voices and perspectives. More than 60 participants from 21 Pueblo communities in the Southwest – among them potters and other artists, as well as writers, curators and community leaders – chose one or two pieces from the collections of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Vilcek Collection in New York. They were then given the freedom to express their thoughts in whichever written form they wished, prose or poem. Their lively, varied contributions reveal the pottery to be not only a utilitarian art form but also a powerfully intangible element that sits at the heart of Pueblo cultures. With magnificent photography throughout, Grounded in Clay showcases the extraordinary history and beauty of Pueblo pottery while bringing to life the complex narratives and stories of this most essential of Native American arts.