Coming soon > Art > Grounded in Clay
Grounded in Clay cover image
UK £45.00
US $70.00
Hardback with jacket
288 pages
175 illustrations, 1 map
29 x 25 cm (11.5 x 9.75 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4692-4
Grounded in Clay
The Spirit of Pueblo Pottery

Pueblo Pottery Collective, Elysia Poon Rick Kinsel

No art form is more associated with the Native Americans of the Southwest than pottery. For centuries, Pueblo people have made beautiful pottery, often painted with intricate designs, for everyday activities such as cooking, food storage and gathering water, and for ceremonial use. Vessels of these types have been found at ancient sites including Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. The tradition of pottery-making continues to thrive among Pueblo communities in the Southwest, and while pottery is still made for practical purposes, it is also commonly produced for the art market. Since the time of the Ancestral Puebloans, pottery has been made predominantly by women. The pots are created from natural clay using a coil method; they are hand-painted and then fired outdoors. Designs vary from one Pueblo to another, but many symbols and motifs are shared by the Pueblos. An impressive survey of more than 100 pieces of historic Pueblo pottery, Grounded in Clay is remarkable for the fact that its content has been selected by Pueblo community members. Rather than relying on Anglo-American art historical interpretations, this book foregrounds Native American voices and perspectives. More than 60 participants from 21 Pueblo communities in the Southwest – among them potters and other artists, as well as writers, curators and community leaders – chose one or two pieces from the collections of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School of Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Vilcek Collection in New York. They were then given the freedom to express their thoughts in whichever written form they wished, prose or poem. Their lively, varied contributions reveal the pottery to be not only a utilitarian art form but also a powerfully intangible element that sits at the heart of Pueblo cultures. With magnificent photography throughout, Grounded in Clay showcases the extraordinary history and beauty of Pueblo pottery while bringing to life the complex narratives and stories of this most essential of Native American arts.


A unique survey of historic Pueblo pottery, written by members of Pueblo communities in the American Southwest
With stunning colour photography of more than 100 pieces of pottery, many of which are reproduced at full size
Accompanies a major exhibition of Pueblo pottery opening in summer 2022 in Santa Fe, then travelling to the Vilcek Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Published in association with the Vilcek Foundation, New York

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Author Profiles

Pueblo Pottery Collective is a collective of more than 60 Native American community members from 21 Pueblo communities in the Southwest. The collective includes potters, designers and other artists, as well as writers, poets, community leaders and museum professionals. A small number of non-Pueblo museum professionals were facilitators and writers for this project, and are also part of the collective.

Elysia Poon is Director of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Rick Kinsel has been on the board of directors of the Vilcek Foundation since its establishment in 2000. He became Executive Director of the foundation in 2003 and President in 2016, in which role he manages the Vilcek Collection, conceives and facilitates the curation of travelling exhibitions based on the collection, and oversees the foundation’s primary operations in the award of prizes and grants in the arts, sciences and humanities.

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