Pueblo Indian pottery embodies four main natural elements: earth, water, air, and fire. It is an art form literally of land and place, and is one of America’s ancient Indigenous creative expressions.
Foregrounding Pueblo voices and aesthetics, Grounded in Clay: The Spirit of Pueblo Pottery is the first community-curated Native American exhibition in the history of The Met. The effort features more than one hundred historical, modern, and contemporary clay works and offers a critical understanding of Pueblo pottery as community-based knowledge and personal experience.
Dating from the eleventh century to the present day, the featured artworks represent the aesthetic lineages of New Mexico’s nineteen Río Grande Pueblos as well as the West Texas community of Ysleta del Sur and the Hopi tribe of Arizona—sovereign Indigenous nations where pots and other ceramic works have been made and used for millennia. Visual and material languages of pottery and intergenerational narratives are highlighted throughout the exhibition.
Grounded in Clay: The Spirit of Pueblo Pottery was curated by the Pueblo Pottery Collective, a group that includes sixty individual members of diverse ages, backgrounds, and professions, who represent twenty-one source communities. Selected works are from two significant Pueblo pottery collections—the Indian Arts Research Center of the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Vilcek Foundation, New York, New York.
Grounded in Clay will be on view during regular hours at The Met and by appointment at the Vilcek Foundation from July 13, 2023 to June 4, 2024. Click here to schedule a tour at the Vilcek Foundation.
Grounded in Clay is a collaborative exhibition curated by the Pueblo Pottery Collective, organized by the School for Advanced Research and the Vilcek Foundation in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The School for Advanced Research, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution, was established in 1907 to advance innovative social science and Native American art. Its 15-acre residential campus sits on ancestral lands of the Tewa people in O'gah'poh geh Owingeh or Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Vilcek Foundation raises awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and fosters appreciation of the arts and sciences.
The exhibition is made possible in part by The Met’s Fund for Diverse Art Histories, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph C. Hoopes Jr., and Valerie and John W. Rowe.
Additional support for commissioned works provided by John and Margot Ernst, Benita and Stephen Potters, and Ellen and Bill Taubman.