Pueblo to Pueblo: The Legacy of Southwest Indian Pottery

October 12 – December 14, 2014

Pueblo to Pueblo: The Legacy of Southwest Indian Pottery

October 12 – December 14

From the Collection of The Kansas City Museum and Union Station, Kansas City

Pottery making in the American Southwest is a tradition that first emerged about two thousand years ago.  It is a functional art form that was passed from generation to generation over the span of centuries by people living in permanent villages, called pueblos.  The pottery of each pueblo was unique and distinguished by a variety of characteristics such as the individual clay source and shape of the vessel as well as the designs, or lack thereof, painted onto the surface.  By the latter part of the nineteenth century these traditions were well established and as more and more people began to travel and move to the Southwest, pottery production was quickly transformed from a functional art form for use primarily within Pueblo communities to a highly marketable cultural expression.

This exhibition consists of approximately seventy Pueblo Indian pottery vessels dating from the mid nineteenth to the mid twentieth century that illustrate the remarkable variety of pottery created during that very dynamic time of transformation.  Some of the vessels in the exhibition are very conservative and adhere to traditional style of a particular pueblo while others incorporate innovations specifically designed for the market.  Through this exhibition, drawn exclusively from the rich collections of Union Station and The Kansas City Museum, visitors will be introduced to the various styles of Pueblo pottery as well as an understanding of the narrative behind its continued development.

Opening day lecture: Sunday, October 12th at 2:00pm, "The Development of Historic Pueblo Pottery" given by Curator Bill Mercer, LeFevre Theatre
Bill Mercer has undergraduate degrees in anthropology and history from California State University at Northridge, an MA in Museum Studies from Texas Tech University and PhD work in Native American art history from the University of New Mexico. Bill has worked in museums for more than 25 years specializing in American Indian and other ethnographic collections.  He was the Curator for the Art of Africa and the Americas at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum and Director of the Montana Historical Society Museum.  He has published extensively and lectured throughout the United States as well as at the British Museum and at Te Papa Tongarewa, the National Museum of New Zealand.  He brings a unique sensitivity to history and art while always keeping Native perspective in the forefront of consideration. 


October 12 – December 7, 2014

The Native American Collection of Roger Epperson

Edward S. Curtis, Bear Bull - Blackfoot, 1926, Collection of Roger Epperson.

In 2012, the Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art displayed part of Roger Epperson’s (d. 2008) collection in an exhibition entitled The Nature of Collecting: The Early 20th Century Fine Art Collection of Roger Epperson. This new exhibition, The Native American Collection of Roger Epperson, presents additional works from Epperson’s collection not yet exhibited. On view will be over 30 works including photography, etchings, drawings and paintings by esteemed artists Edward S. Curtis, Maynard Dixon, Roi Partridge, Edward Borein and Arthur William Hall. Epperson was an East Bay Regional Parks Ranger for over thirty years who had a passion for California’s environment and a deep love of art. Epperson’s collecting endeavors began over twenty five years ago when he saw an exhibition at the Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art (formerly the Hearst Art Gallery) entitled The Color Wood Cut in America 1895-1945. A self-taught collector of early California landscapes as well as Native American Art, Epperson scoured auction houses, antique stores, garage sales, galleries and the internet to accumulate an impressive collection of hundreds of works. An active environmentalist, Epperson shared the same view, awe and respect of nature as the artists who depicted it in his collection. With a ridge named in his honor located in Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, the Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art will pay tribute yet again to Epperson and his collection in this exhibition.


Grace Hudson: Painter of the Pomo People

October 12 – December 7

From the Collection of the Grace Hudson Museum, City of Ukiah

Grace Hudson (1865-1937) was born Grace Carpenter in Potter Valley and grew up in nearby Ukiah, California. At fifteen she went to San Francisco to attend art school and furthered her already obvious talent. She returned to Ukiah at age twenty an extremely capable painter.  She married Dr. John Hudson in 1890.  John’s interest in the study of Native American culture and language combined with Grace’s familiarity with the local Pomo People led to their lifelong commitment to study and document the Pomo and other California Indians. While John traveled the state doing field studies and gathering basket collections for eastern museums, Grace created portraits of a race and culture they feared would soon die out. Working with a woman’s sensitivity and perspective, she chose the children and women of the Pomo as her primary subjects. The depictions struck a special tender note with the public and she soon became a nationally known artist.