Next time you come to visit, head up to Gallery 304 on the 3rd Floor. You might find something lurking there that you haven’t noticed before. A certain piece of pottery may look unassuming from its back, but as you make your way to its front you will find yourself face-to-face with…well…A FACE! Pieces like this one appeared in South Carolina sometime in the mid 1800s. Their features provide an example of a creolized form that art historians believe has roots in both Africa and Europe. There is a small hole near the bottom edge of our Face Jug, making its use very mysterious. One theory suggests that adults kept things in them that they didn’t want their kids to get to and the scary face would keep the children away.
This can be a fun piece to explore with your child. Get their imaginations going with questions like, “What do you think adults would put in these jugs? “ or “Can you make a face like these guys?” or “How do these make you feel? Curious, scared, silly?” You will surely get some creative answers!
Face Jar can be found along with a few of his closest friends on the 3rd Floor of the Stent Family Wing in gallery 304.