Museum of History to Host ‘From Fire and Earth’ Exhibit

On Friday, February 22nd, the El Paso Museum of History (EPMH) invites the public to view the newest exhibition at the museum: From Fire and Earth, featuring Casas Grandes and Mata Ortiz ceramics from the northwest corner of modern-day Chihuahua, Mexico.

“We are very pleased to present this exhibition in partnership with the City’s Museums of History, Archaeology and Art. This opportunity will allow visitors to view unique artifacts, rarely presented together in this kind of exhibition,” said El Paso Museum of History Director Vladimir von Tsurikov.

The exhibit shows the art expressions of the Casas Grandes people, who would become prolific potters, producing some of the finest pottery of the Pre-Columbian world.

The exhibition features ceramics from the permanent collections of the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, El Paso Museum of Art and private collections.

This ceramic revival has spurred national and international interest in the Casas Grandes region over the past few decades, as well as rekindled in the local population an appreciation for tradition and their cultural heritage. Mata Ortiz pottery is recognized as some of the finest handcrafted ceramics produced in the world today.

“The Casas Grandes culture is recognized as having produced some of the finest pottery of the ancient Pre-Columbian world,” said El Paso Museum of Archaeology Director Jeff Romney. “This collaborative exhibition between the City’s Museums affords the public an amazing opportunity to view examples rarely seen from our world-class collections.”

In the mid-1970s, Juan Quezada and others from Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, Mexico launched a new era in Casas Grandes pottery. Inspired by the shards and other artifacts that they found in this region, they began making pottery using only natural elements.

These art pieces show not only the ancient art of pottery, but also the appreciation of Mesoamerican cultures.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. From Fire and Earth and runs through September 22.