Memory Vessel with Commemorative Objects

  • Unidentified (American), Memory Vessel with Commemorative Objects, after 1928, mixed media on ceramic, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.309

Luce Center Label

Some memory jars may have come from African American traditions of decorating graves with objects owned by the deceased. The objects embedded in the surface of these bottles and jars provide clues about when they were made or who made them. For example, Jug with Finial includes a campaign button for William Jennings Bryan, a Democratic presidential candidate between 1896 and 1908, while High-Buttoned Shoe shows a macabre row of teeth that may have belonged to the maker.

Title
Memory Vessel with Commemorative Objects
Artist
Date
after 1928
On View
Dimensions
9 1/2 x 9 3/8 in. (24.1 x 23.8 cm. ) irregular
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums
Mediums Description
mixed media on ceramic
Classifications
Keywords
  • Allegory – other – memory
Object Number
1986.65.309
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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