Casas Grandes and the Ceramic Art of the Ancient Southwest

Overview

In the flourishing ancient Indian communities of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico, master potters created ceramic arts that are considered among the most accomplished in the world. The symbolic imagery and distinctive local styles of the region are unmistakable—simple volumetric shapes covered with complex, interlocking geometrical designs that are sometimes combined with bold abstract animal, human, and composite figures. Within this shared tradition are clearly identifiable local styles and symbolic ...

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2005 Hardcover New 0300111487. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--208 pp. With 280 ills. (258 col. ). 29 x 27 cm.

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Overview

In the flourishing ancient Indian communities of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico, master potters created ceramic arts that are considered among the most accomplished in the world. The symbolic imagery and distinctive local styles of the region are unmistakable—simple volumetric shapes covered with complex, interlocking geometrical designs that are sometimes combined with bold abstract animal, human, and composite figures. Within this shared tradition are clearly identifiable local styles and symbolic vocabularies, and this lavishly illustrated book focuses on one of them: the ceramic works of the Casas Grandes-Paquimé area of northwest Mexico and adjoining parts of New Mexico and Arizona, c. A.D. 1200–1400.

For the first time on a comprehensive scale, expert art historians and an artist-teacher discuss the complex imagery of approximately ninety Casas Grandes vessels with fifty pieces representing other major styles of the Greater Southwest. Superb examples show polychromatic designs of real and mythological animals, together with abstract human figures and remarkably varied geometries, demonstrating the imaginative complexity and exceptional achievement of the Casas Grandes potters. Certain motifs reflect affinities with distant Mesoamerica, yet the authors show that these forms were absorbed into a visual vocabulary that reflected the unique artistic and cosmological outlook of Casas Grandes, within the native Southwestern cultural tradition.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The pottery of the Casas Grandes-Paquime area of northwest Mexico (Chihuahua area) and parts of New Mexico and Arizona is considered among the most advanced in the world. Ancient Indians created a diverse ceramic art form in this area between 1200 and 1400 C.E. The symbolic imagery and distinctive local styles of this region bear an unmistakable "Southwestern" character, reflecting affinities with ancient Mesoamerica but retaining their distinctive local styles. Simple shapes are covered with complex geometrical designs and sometimes bold abstract animal and human figures. Compiled by Townsend (curator, African & Amerindian art, Art Inst. of Chicago), Ken Kokrda, a potter and expert on Casas Grandes pottery, and Barbara Moulard (art history, Arizona State Univ.), this book accompanies an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago from April 2 to June 18, 2006, that assembles works from several museums and private collections. The book compares favorably with the relatively few other books on the topic, which are not as extensive, focus on imagery only, or cover recent pottery developments in the area. With a time line, bibliography, beautiful color plates, and essays written for general audiences as well as academic readers, this book offers what we have come to expect from Yale publications: quality at an affordable cost. Recommended for academic libraries, large public libraries, and specialized Southwestern or Mexican art and/or culture collections.-Sylvia Andrews, Butler Univ., Indianapolis Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300111484
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 11/11/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard F. Townsend is curator of African and Amerindian Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ken Kokrda is a ceramic artist and teacher and an expert on Casas Grandes pottery traditions. Barbara Moulard is adjunct associate professor of art history at Arizona State University and the author of Within the Underworld Sky: Mimbres Ceramic Art in Context (1984) and Re-Creating the Word: Painted Ceramics of the Prehistoric Southwest (2002).

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Table of Contents

Foreword 6
Acknowledgments 9
Map of the ancient Southwest 11
Timeline of Southwestern ceramic traditions 12
Casas Grandes in the art of the ancient Southwest 14
Archaism and emulation in Casas Grandes painted pottery 66
Approaching Casas Grandes 98
Plate section (with note to the reader) 122
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