Title: Jar

Date: ca. 1975
Artist: Juan Quezada (b. 1940)
Culture: Mata Ortiz (Chihuahua, Mexico)
Material: Painted earthenware
Size: 8.5” H x 9.25” Diam.
Credit: Museum Purchase
On View: Yes

Juan Quezada was born and raised in the small village of Mata Ortiz in Mexico. The village is located near the ruins of Paquimé (Casas Grandes, ca. 1200 – 1450). The site is one of Central America’s largest, and oldest archaeological zones.

Quezada became interested in the area’s distinctive style of pottery at a very young age. After much trial and error, he was eventually able to recreate the Casas Grandes style of pottery. At first, his pottery was so convincing that many thought it was of prehistoric origin and was sold as such. In 1975, his work was recognized by archaeologist Spencer McCallum, who helped him break into the larger American market. His work became extremely popular and inspired an entire community of innovate and dynamic potters in Mata Ortiz. 

This pot is one of Quezada’s early pieces. As such, it more closely resembles prehistoric Casas Grandes pottery in terms of color, style, and clay.

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