Pottery from the Americas

Permanent East Gallery Exhibition

The University Museum is home to a unique and comprehensive collection of both prehistoric and historic pottery, now on display in the Permanent East Gallery exhibition Pottery from the Americas. This collection includes almost 600 vessels that reflect the vibrant artistry and beauty of Southwestern and Mesoamerican ceramics. The exhibition also includes an extensive type collection of sherds from New Mexico and Chihuahua, as well as other educational materials.

We have arranged the majority of the museum's ceramics collection in an open-storage style so as to have the maximum amount accessible to the public, as well as to allow comparision across time periods, geographic and cultural boundaries, and aesthetic styles. This exhibition style places prehistoric pieces with both functional and aesthetic uses alongside those of modern artists like Maria and Julian Martinez, Lucy Lewis, Joseph Lonewolf, Marie Chino, and Lydia Quezada.

Many of the ceramics were gits from university alumni, staff and faculty, or from members of the Las Cruces community. Others were purchased by the museum. None of the pre-historic pieces were collected after the laws and international agreements were enacted to stop the destruction of cultural heritage, such as ancient sites and the removal of artifacts.


Chaco Branch Mug
Casas Grandes Effigy
Costa Rica Face Vessel
Effigy of Flute Player from Mexico
Reproduction Effigy
Casas Grandes Vessel
pottery of the americas exhibition
potter of the americas exhibition