Date of Award
Master of Arts
General Art History
Richard A. Lou
Todd M. Richardson
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.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Hornby, Jennifer Priscilla, "Memory Jugs: Change and Continuity in a Traditional American Art Form" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 31.