Casas Grandes/Mata Ortiz

August 1st - November 5th

Located in northern Chihuahua State, Mexico, the site of Casas Grandes was the urban center of a culture which thrived from ca. 1100 – 1450. It interacted with the contemporaneous Mogollon (including Mimbres), Hohokam and Ancestral Puebloan (“Anasazi”) cultures to the north (in present-day Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado), serving as a go-between with them and central American cultures to the south. Known for their distinctive designs on pottery, the Casas Grandes culture disappeared ca. 1450, probably due to climate change. In the late 1960’s, artists in the nearby modern towns of Nuevos Casas Grandes and particularly Mata Ortiz-inspired by the designs found on remnants of the prehistoric culture—began creating their own ceramic works. The commercial success of these wares led to a widespread movement where today, several hundred artisans and artists are creating decorative “Mata Ortiz” pottery. With a significant collection of the prehistoric Casas Grandes pottery, the Museum has also been documenting through collection, the contemporary ceramics of Mata Ortiz. This exhibit draws from its holdings of both, offering the
opportunity to compare and contrast these remarkable wares.

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