Penny Morrill Talk: Mexican Silver Designers Imagine their Future with Roots in the Past
November 16, 2017, 7pm at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Biscailuz Gallery
These days, young silver artists in Mexico are not producing endless interpretations (and copies) of the great designs from the forties and fifties. They have given themselves the ultimate challenge – to develop exciting new ideas while maintaining the silver techniques that were the great innovations of the maestros – innovations that should not disappear. The new designers must then find a market for their work – another challenge that requires 21st century savvy.
Penny Morrill, Ph.D., is a leading scholar on the history of modern Mexican silver. She has interviewed designers and master silversmiths and gathered original research materials. She has worked with Dr. Hortensia Calvo, Director, and Dr. Christine Hernández, Archivist, in establishing the Spratling-Taxco Collection at Tulane-University’s Latin American Library in order to further the study of Mexico’s silver tradition and innovation. With Dr. Ilona Katzew and Ronald Belkin, Morrill has co-founded the permanent modern Mexican silver collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and assisted in the development of a collection at the Boston Fine Arts Museum. Dr. Morrill’s books on the subject include Mexican Silver (1994, 4th edition, 2007), Silver Masters of Mexico (1996), Maestros de Plata: William Spratling and the Mexican Silver Renaissance, the catalog for a traveling exhibit (2002-2004); and Margot Van Voorhies: The Art of Mexican Enamelwork (2011). Dr. Morrill also remains committed to supporting contemporary silver designers in Mexico. She is equally passionate about early colonial Mesoamerican Art. Her monograph on the Casa del Deán, a 16th century urban palace, was published in 2014 by the University of Texas Press. Morrill currently teaches pre-Columbian art history at George Mason University.
Penny Morrill was included in the NEIGHBORS episode.