Classic Mimbres Black-on-white bowl: three pronghorn

Mogollon -- Mimbres
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General Description

Mimbres potters developed one of the Southwest’s most appealing painting styles, distinguished by geometric compositions and narrative imagery that provides an eloquent record of Mimbres life. The painting on many Mimbres vessels suggests concepts of sacred space or cosmic geography. The edge of the bowl may have marked the boundary of an orderly world, while the center space, often empty and white, may refer to the Earth Center. Here three bighorn sheep covered with spiralized diamond motifs, emanate from that center. The jagged, angular forms convey the dynamic tension of lightning in a darkened sky.

Adapted from

  • Bonnie Pitman, ed., "Bowl with geometric design (1982.94)," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 55.

  • DMA Label Copy (1982.94), 1993.