By: Virginia Volkman
For: Red Rock News
Date: January 18, 2013
Quilt at the Library Features Mimbres Theme
One of the true delights of working in a library
is the pleasure of learning something new every day. I always
know that when the Quilt Show goes up it will give rise to many new
subjects to explore.
This year's show features "Mimbres Memories
Anew" by Jan B. Oden. This quilt started out several years ago
as exchange birthday blocks among the informal quilting group, the Last
Straws. Each member selected a project and the others helped by
completing a block and returning it as a birthday gift. Being
an avid admirer of all Pueblo pottery (both ancient and new), Jan chose
Mimbres and contemporary pottery designs and motifs to create the final
quilt. Finding fabric with printed images of Pueblo pottery at
Quilter's Store Sedona added the perfect final touch for hand appliquéing
onto her Southwest quilt.
When I first saw this quilt being hung I marveled
at its size, then its colors, and finally its subject. The word
Mimbres was new to me.
So I started to do some research. The
Mimbres people lived in what is today the southwestern corner of New
Mexico. Recognized as part of a larger group known as the Mogollon,
the Mimbres were concentrated around the Mimbres River, named by early
Spanish settlers for the abundance of mimbres or small willows found
along its banks.
The painted pottery of the Mimbres was decorated
in the basic themes of human, animal, and geometric designs.
I especially like the whimsical animal images on the quilt.
The Library has a wonderful book titled "Mimbres
Pottery: Ancient Art of the American Southwest." It contains
informative essays by J. J. Brody, Catherine J. Scott, and Steven A.
LeBlanc, with an introduction by Tony Berlant.
The book gathers images of the finest pieces
from 32 collections. It features objects selected for their aesthetic
quality, visual impact, and historical importance.
According to J. J. Brody, "Even though the
awareness of Mimbres art spread slowly, after its rediscovery in 1913,
Mimbres representational paintings fascinated prehistorians of the Southwest
for they provide our world with its first good view of the intellectual
life of a vanished southwestern native people."
The Smithsonian National Musem of Natural
History has an interesting section on Mimbres pottery on their website.
Check out the Library's catalog for the many books available on this
subject through the Yavapai Library Network.
As you wander through the Quilt Show, let
your imagination wander, too. Let it take you to a distant time,
a distant land, or an idea for a creative project of your own.
The show is up through February 7.
Sedona Public Library is a private, 501(c)(3)
non-profit corporation, supported by donations and grants. Your
tax-deductible donation may be sent to: Sedona Public Library,
3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336.
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on Sedona Biz.
Virginia Volkman is Director of the Sedona Public Library.