Pueblo Revolt 2180

Copied Virgil Ortiz, Pueblo Revolt 2180, 2018-2019, white bentonite clay with bee-weed (spinach) paint, 14 58 × 12 78 in. (37.1 × 32.7 cm) diam., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2022.54, © 2016, Virgil Ortiz

Artwork Details

Pueblo Revolt 2180
Not on view
14 58 × 12 78 in. (37.1 × 32.7 cm) diam.
© 2016, Virgil Ortiz
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund
Mediums Description
white bentonite clay with bee-weed (spinach) paint
  • Indian
  • Occupation — other — reformer
Object Number

Artwork Description

Virgil Ortiz is a storyteller whose artworks carry the history, traditions, and continued resilience of his Cochiti Pueblo people. Like generations before him, Ortiz gathers local clay, hand builds his vessels, and makes paint from wild spinach leaves. He also builds futuristic worlds and characters, where knowledge of the past provides guidance for future generations.

This jar references the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, a successful Indigenous revolution against Spanish colonizers who imposed religious and military persecution of Pueblo people in New Mexico. It advances to the year 2180, when Pueblo lands and people are under attack again. The female warrior Tahu, with her quiver and arrows on her back, leads the army. She is accompanied by figures such as Gliders, running messages across pueblos, and Translator, the army commander, communicating the events across time. Through this story, Ortiz promotes wider awareness of an under-recognized chapter in history while imagining a future in which the people of Cochiti Pueblo again rise up to successfully defend the land.