Born of Clay: Ceramics from the National Museum of the American Indian

November 5, 2005 – May 30, 2007

National Museum of the American Indian George Gustav Heye Center
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
One Bowling Green
New York, NY

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House

Featured in this exhibition from the museum's collection of pottery are 301 works that span 5,000 years and four distinct regions: the Andes, Mesoamerica, and the eastern and southwestern regions of the U.S. The scope of the collection ranges from an example of the earliest ceramics from the Western Hemisphere -- a female figurine from Valdivia, Ecuador, dating from 3000-1500 B.C. -- to works created in the late 20th century. As part of the exhibitions, eight contemporary potters from the same four regions were invited to shares their ideas about pottery created yesterday and today and found that, despite differences in the composition, form, and decoration, Native potters share a respect for their ancestral traditions, a belief in the sacredness of clay, and an appreciation for the changing use of ceramics.