Monday, November 19, 2007

acquiring vs. eliminating

My current goal is to clear out as much as possible before we move. But my actions are not in line with my aspirations.

Jim’s father, George, acquired a nice collection of pre-Columbian artifacts from Mexico in the middle of the last century, before there were laws prohibiting the export of these antiquities. He has many figurines and many bowls—almost all made of clay. A year or so ago, George called me asked me to stop by his house on my way home from ceramics class. When I got there he had put out a small selection of his bowl collection—6 or 8 select pieces. He told me pick out one, he wanted to give it to me. I was thrilled and have really loved having the lovely bowl.

After I selected my pick from his collection, George called the director of the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) and offered them their choice of his whole collection. SAMA chose the rest of his bowls! They said lots of people had collected the figurines and had donated them to the museum but they did not have a nice selection of bowls. There was one bowl that George did not offer to me or to the museum—it has always resided on their dining table. I mentioned to George that I really coveted that bowl and he promised that it would be mine one day but he intended to keep it as long as he had a dining table where he could enjoy it. Well, they are moving into a retirement home this week—and have no dining table! So Friday he gave me that beautiful bowl. What a treasure!

And speaking of treasures I got two more from Ruth and George this week. Neither one is the treasure that the pre-Columbian bowl is, but I am happy to have them in my collection. One is a pitcher with a nice mottled turquoise-blue glaze—made by Harding Black.

I had no idea they had that piece—nor did they. Neither Ruth nor George had any knowledge of Harding Black’s work and were very happy that I was excited to have it. The second little treasure is a small vase (5” tall) made by the Newcomb College women in 1930. It is the “Vase with Drooping Leaves” in blue and green matt.

I like the work of the Newcomb College women and am delighted to have this small vase from their china closet. (See the moon peeking through the drooping leaves?)

There is one more gift from the china closet. Toby Jugs! Not really treasures, but fun to have!

Not so nice, nor so English, as Doug Fitch's wonderful slip ware but they did belong to Jim's English grandmother, Violet, so they are special to us.

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