In July 2022, a group of distinguished Pueblo artists and knowledge holders came to the Maxwell Museum to view a selection of Pueblo baskets from the museum’s collections. This group was composed of Louie García (Tiwa/Piro Pueblo), Christopher Lewis (Zuni), Jilli M. Oyenque (Ohkay Owingeh), Paul Tosa (Jemez Pueblo), Madeline Tosa (Jemez Pueblo), and Brian Vallo (Acoma Pueblo). Accompanying them was anthropologist and UNM alumnus, Dr. Bruce Bernstein.
The group generously shared knowledge about the varied techniques, uses, and meanings embedded within these baskets, and together, with museum staff and guest co-curator Dr. Bernstein, they agreed to co-curate an exhibition presenting these rarely seen objects to the public. The result is "We Were Basket Makers Before We Were Pueblo People: Pueblo Baskets in Context" which is housed in the Alfonso Ortiz Center Gathering Space of the Museum.
Like the fibers that make up these intricate baskets themselves, the voices of the co-curators are independent powerful strands of understanding that come together to offer us a greater appreciation of the artwork and its signficance. Come see the exhibit which will be on display through January 2024, in conjuction with our other temporary exhibit on baskets, "Conversing with the Land: Native North American Baskets of the Maxwell Museum Collections."
This exhibit is in part sponsored by the Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies.