Untitled (Memory Jug)

  • Unidentified, Untitled (Memory Jug), ca. 1890-1920, clay and found objects, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Margaret Z. Robson Collection, Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson, 2016.38.80

Memory jugs give physical form to remembrance. Because these assemblages were rarely valued by anyone other than family members at the time of their creation, the identities of their makers were almost always lost to time. The profusion of mementos encrusted onto crockery traces the beliefs and customs of the people who made them and those they cherished. This jug features over 275 objects, from an extracted tooth to shells, tiny glass bottles, an Aunt Jemima button, and more, fragments of the material world chosen to remember a life, and to honor a loved one’s spirit on earth, long after they are gone.
(We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection, 2022)
Untitled (Memory Jug)
ca. 1890-1920
9 12 × 9 12 × 10 14 in. (24.1 × 24.1 × 26.0 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Margaret Z. Robson Collection, Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson

Mediums Description
clay and found objects
  • Allegory – other – memory
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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