#627 Blackware Pottery Nativity

Acquired 2013

We visited Brinton Museum in Big Horn, WY, while traveling through from South Dakota to Montana. This Museum caught our eye in the AAA tour book, being highly recommended - it was an old 1800-1900 ranch home, the owner of Case, International - a highly respected longstanding farm equipment company. While there, we visited the Museum Gift Shop which features Western artists and I saw this stunning black polished pottery three-piece nativity.This storyteller sculptured set is created by Lawrence Vargas in his black-on-black pottery style. Blackware Pottery came from the Neolithic art period and was a lost art until broken pieces were uncovered in New Mexico's desert terrain in 1908. After a long period of experimentation, a Tewa Pueblo Indian lady fired the first re-creation of blackware pottery in 1913. My nativity set, by Lawrence Vargas, being influenced by his “mestizo” (mixed cultures) heritage, is a continuation of this form of art. The hand-painted blackware pieces are finished in jet black high gloss, along with soft gray matte and then enhanced with beautiful traditional designs and one piece of genuine turquoise. The pieces are then signed by Lawrence Vargas.My three-piece nativity set includes Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus where his swaddling clothes features the piece of turquoise. Purchased June 2013 - $100.