Please come and see the current exhibit in the lobby level of Gladfelter Hall in the cases outside of the Anthropology Lab!
Everyday People, Everyday Pots was curated by the Lab’s Director, Muriel Kirkpatrick and features pottery from two of the Lab’s collections.
I spoke with Muriel about the Metepec collection. Metepec is a municipality in Mexico famous for its pottery tradition.
Muriel, tell me about your time in Mexico.
It was the winter of 1970 and I went to the field as part of my Master’s Thesis. Another student, David Strug, was doing an ethnology of Metepec potters and putting together a collection that would eventually come to Temple. We sort of crossed paths as he wound up leaving during my field work. My goal was to go the homes of the potters and see the pottery in their houses – what they themselves used.
My research was informed by a Maya typology developed by James Gifford. [The Temple professor who edited Ceramica] Although ultimately, I wanted to know the potters’ own classification of their works in order to get an emic view of this aspect of their culture.
I spoke very little Spanish but as an artist – the pottery becomes a means of communication. And I made drawings to record their technique.