Archives for posts with tag: Face Jugs

On my final day in Washington D.C. I visited the National Museum of American History. What I found more interesting than the feature exhibitions were the display cases with random objects from American History: medical devices from the 70’s, Betty Davis’ coat from Voyager Now and one of Google’s original handmade servers. The technology stuff in particular show from what humble beginnings our amazing modern devices come from.

The permanent display of the Star Spangled Banner was also very impressive. I had no idea it was so big, originally 30 x 42 feet (now 30 x 34 feet thanks to souvenir takers long ago).

On the down side, the food in the cafeteria was pretty bad, expensive and the service was surly. On the definite upside, one of the display cases had a face jug, one of my favorite drawing subjects.


Face Jug

Face Jug

10-59 AM

The remains from my depressingly bad lunch at the museum’s food service.

Its time for more Face Jugs: Art and Ritual in 19th-Century South Carolina. I worked with the very capable staff of the Georgia Art Museum to close the show and return the jugs to the various lenders. I really enjoyed this show when it was in Milwaukee and it was nice to be involved in the closing of the exhibition and to see the jugs one last time; again. I managed to do a few quick drawings while I was working.


03-06-02 PM 09-12 AM 11-02 AM

Face Jugs: Art and Ritual in 19th-Century South Carolina closed last weekend at the Milwaukee Art Museum and now moves on to the Columbia Art Museum in South Carolina.  Everyone I talked to who saw this show liked it and now the good people of South Carolina can enjoy it too.


It’s been awhile since I posted a face jug drawing. There are quite a few face jugs displayed on clear acrylic shelves in a single large display case. The effect is really striking and allows for easy comparison between jugs. It’s a population of disembodied heads that are all different but share qualities as well.

I think this is the same jug I drew in my very first post on face jugs.

Another face jug from the wonderful exhibition Face Jugs: Art and Ritual in 19th Century South Carolina at the Milwaukee Art Museum.


This is one of the smaller face jugs. Bug Eyes!

Another crazy face jug from Face Jugs: Art and Ritual in 19th-Century South Carolina at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Yes, it’s ears really are that far forward. Apart from the ears this one is creepy because there are no pupils indicated. There’s something disturbing about the completely dead stare this one has, like a dead fish.

This drawing kind of got away from me as far as scale, that’s why the ears are a little cropped on the sides. It’s a challenge to make a drawing that can only be 152 pixels wide. The ears in the drawing are not that far off; they are lopsided on the jug. That’s okay, my ears are not perfectly level either.

Another face jug from Face Jugs: Art and Ritual in 19th-Century South Carolina. My good friend Mike Mikulay did another excellent job of designing this exhibition for the Chipstone Foundation. The wall of face jugs is especially impressive.

I tried shading this drawing by stippling it in MS Paint, but it kind of looks like the face jug has 5 o’clock shadow.

Face Jugs: Art and Ritual in 19th-Century South Carolina opened at the Milwaukee Art Museum last week. I took a short break from work and drew two of the face jugs today. I haven’t read all of the information for the exhibition yet but apparently scholars think these jugs were made by slaves in a very specific area of South Carolina (That may be of interest to one of our dedicated blog followers). I really like these objects and am looking forward to learning more about them. It’s a beautiful exhibition and definitely worth visiting.