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Unknown artist (Active in Edgefield, South Carolina). Face Jug, ca. 1850–1865. Alkaline-glazed stoneware. Museum purchase through the Theresa E. and Harlan E. Moore Charitable Trust Fund 2018-15-1
Unknown artist (Active in Edgefield, South Carolina). Face Jug, ca. 1850–1865. Alkaline-glazed stoneware. Museum purchase through the Theresa E. and Harlan E. Moore Charitable Trust Fund 2018-15-1
Unknown artist (active in Edgefield, South Carolina)
ca. 1850–1865

5 1/2 x 4 5/8 in. (14 x 12 cm)

Enslaved black potters in the Edgefield district of South Carolina made face jugs from around 1850.

From the early 1800s, pottery yards in Edgefield were major producers of utilitarian stoneware, which was made by both enslaved and free persons. Face jugs were initially created only by African American potters, until after the 1880s, when white potters also started to produce their own versions.

The original inspiration, function, and meaning of face jugs are no longer known and have become the subject of much scholarly debate.

Research suggests that the introduction of the form might relate to the 1858 arrival of the illegal slave ship Wanderer, which brought 170 people predominantly from the Kikongo-speaking regions of central Africa to the Edgefield District—many of whom went on to work in the pottery yards. This history has inspired some scholars to speculate further on the formal connections between Kongo power figures of nineteenth-century central Africa and Edgefield face jugs.

 

Author: Maureen Warren, Curator of European and American Art, 2019

KAM Plans "Art Since 1948", Summer Programs

All This Beauty and Color: Highlights from the WPA, installation at Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, 2019.
Trees Gallery, installation view at Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, 2019.
Family Art Cards encourage kids and families to explore the Blue & White Ceramics exhibition at Krannert Art Museum, 2019.
Article: Author: 

Krannert Art Museum Plans Major Reinstallation of Modern and Contemporary Art Collection

New Summer Programs Focus on Creativity, Visitor Engagement

Referenced by Exhibition: 
Blue and White Ceramics: An Enduring Global Obsession
All This Beauty and Color: Highlights from the WPA
European and American Art: Bow Gallery
European and American Art: Trees Gallery
Art Since 1948

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Cornelis Aelbrechtsz Keyser, Charger, 17th century. Tin-glazed earthenware. Museum purchase through the Harlan E. Moore Charitable Trust fund 1988-15-1
Cornelis Aelbrechtsz Keyser, Charger, 17th century. Tin-glazed earthenware. Museum purchase through the Harlan E. Moore Charitable Trust fund 1988-15-1

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A selection of paintings by local artist Kelly Hieronymus, who will lead this month's creativity workshop on Patterns and Forms. Image courtesy of the artist.
A selection of paintings by local artist Kelly Hieronymus, who will lead this month's creativity workshop on Patterns and Forms. Image courtesy of the artist.
Workshop
Jul 25, 2019 - 3–4:30 pm
Main Level, Contemporary Gallery

Bring out your creative side in the galleries at Krannert Art Museum. 

At the July Creative Workshop, we'll talk with local artist Kelly Hieronymus about the ways patterns and organic forms play a role in the art we see at the museum and the art we create. Participants will be invited to explore Blue and White Ceramics and the newly reinstalled Bow and Trees Galleries, then create art inspired by patterns they see.

The workshop will begin in the Contemporary gallery and is free of charge. Please bring drawing supplies if you prefer; paper and pencil will be provided at the event. No wet media (paints, pastels, etc) will be permitted in the gallery.