Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Our most current special exhibit, Storytellers: Teaching Heritage through Song and Story, focuses on storytelling traditions unique to northern New Mexico.  It was originally intended to be a show solely dedicated to ceramic storyteller figurines made famous by Helen Cordero from Cochiti Pueblo, such as the one pictured below, but was expanded to encompass multiple histories about the variety of ways that traditional knowledge is passed down through art in Hispanic and Native American communities in the Southwest.

The show addresses the history of ceramic figurines in the region by beginning with souvenir arts from Cochiti and Tesuque Pueblo.  Prior to my arrival at the Millicent Rogers Museum, I worked for the E. Irving Couse and Joseph Henry Sharp Historic Site, and they generously loaned three of the Couse Collection rain gods for our show.  You can see several of Couse's rain gods in paintings he produced throughout his career, and the figurines help demonstrate the stylistic similarities in this continuing tradition.  

Pictured here is one of the Couse Collection rain gods on loan to the Millicent Rogers Museum, and below is one of Couse's paintings, Prayer to the Rain God, that features the exact same figurine from his personal collection.

The preservation of traditional art forms and cultural knowledge was a common theme in Couse's work and a major concern of our museum's namesake, Millicent Rogers, and it is also a concept at the core of our mission statement.  Come see how we put these words into action by visiting our current exhibits at the museum and attending our special events relating to our Storytellers exhibit.

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