Museum Minute: The Story Teller

Nov 16, 2020

The Plains Indian Museum not only collects older artwork but also contemporary artwork. The museum has a piece of pottery by Rose Pecos SunRhodes. 

“[It’s] a large female figure with a big skirt and she has outstretched arms,” Rebecca West, the Plains Indian Museum curator, described the piece. “And there's all these little figures that are children that are surrounding her skirts. And this is a traditional storyteller figure that you will see a lot in the Southwest.”

It is painted in monochromatic tones like black, white, and natural clay color. West said it’s symbolic of some of the role of women as matriarchs and of caregivers. 

“I feel like it's also symbolic of some of the extended families that we see nowadays. We have multi-generational mothers and grandmothers who are caring for people,” said West. 

She said it represents the blending of cultures as well because SunRhodes is from the Southwest and came up to Wyoming and has shared her traditional Southwestern art with a different audience. 

“It's complex in its artistry because it's got probably at least a dozen figures that are surrounding her skirts there,” said West. “And typically she includes one of her children in the pieces. One of her sons is depicted. Usually, I think, wearing a cowboy hat.”