Mata Ortiz History

Mata Ortiz History, Notes from Ron Goebel and Nancy Andrews

“There’s the story, then there’s the real story, then there’s the story of how the story came to be told. Then there’s what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too. “   Margaret Atwood

From the late 1970s: “An Odyssey Complete and Continuing” written by Spencer MacCallum. Only one potter is mentioned. MacCallum claims that the modern Mata Ortiz pottery tradition was started by one person. Research shows that this claim is false.

In 1994 Walter Parks wrote the “Miracle of Mata Ortiz..” As usual, several people helped him with his book. In Acknowledgements Parks wrote:  “…MacCallum was especially generous, opening all of his files to me and reviewing the text.” This was the first edition of the book. MacCallum reviewed the test; essentially MacCallum approved the text of the book.

Many years later a second edition of this book was published. Per Ana Livingston in the Journal of the Southwest, “Mr. Parks reprinted “The Miracle of Mata Ortiz….”

This second edition is a larger book beautifully reprinted with a stunning pot by Juan Quezada on the cover. However, there was “a complete deletion of a section by author and former village pottery trader and business owner Michael Allan Williams [Mike Williams].”

The first edition states that Parks helped to finance the hotel of Mike Williams.

The second edition of his book deletes any mention of Michael Williams. Veterans of Mata Ortiz confirm that Williams was a scandalous exploiter of children. Williams was purged from the second edition. Parks did not want to be associated with Williams. Why?

 

 

 

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