Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

48

Date

2010

Date of Award

4-29-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Art History

Concentration

General Art History

Committee Chair

Earnestine Jenkins

Committee Member

Richard A. Lou

Committee Member

Carol Crown

Committee Member

Todd M. Richardson

Abstract

Memory Jugs: Continuity and Change in a Traditional American Art Form, examines the evolution of the memory jug practice in the United States from the late eighteenth-century to present day. I argue that Congo African ritual objects known as minkisi are responsible for the origin of the memory jug. Ways of thinking about and using objects that can be observed in minkisi are used to strengthen the previously established analogy between memory jugs and African American grave decoration. The concept of memory is explored as it becomes increasingly influential to the memory jug practice in the twentieth-century. Four nineteenth- to twentieth-century memory jugs are analyzed in comparison to oral interviews from three contemporary memory jugs artists. By considering the larger context of memory jugs before and after they were created strictly as commemorative objects for the deceased, memory jugs are better understood.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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