Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • Mexico
  • retablo, late 1900s–1994
  • Where object was made: Mexico
  • wood, ceramic, paint, leather, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 19 x 10.5 x 6 cm measured with doors closed
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 7 1/2 x 4 1/8 x 2 3/8 in measured with doors closed
  • Gift of Carol Chavez
  • Not on display
  • 2007.6991

The small upright rectangular wooden box has two hinged doors and a small triangle at the top. The doors are hinged with leather strips.

The interior doors are both painted with the same design: a green bow-like shape in the center and two long bright pink petal-like shapes each within a blue "U" shape. The triangle is white with a green four-pointed star and red curlicues.

The front of the exterior of the box shows a flower when the doors are closed. It has a large yellow center with orange detail. The petals are dark blue, green-blue, and purple. The side panels are white with blue spirals.

The interior of the box has yellow on the back wall and blue on the side walls and roof. The ceramic figures wear a variety of different clothes inside the box.

The larger scale figures are in the back. The facing left figure plays a pan flute and the facing right figure holds a yellow object, possibly a flute.

In the middle row the facing left figure wears a red coat and holds a cluster of round objects on his left side, the middle figure holds a long striped object from the left shoulder to the right hip. It is white with horizontal stripes in pink, yellow, and grey. The figure on the facing right wears a poncho and plays a guitar.

There are large figures on the front row. The facing left figure holds a vertical flute to his mouth. The center figure holds an object in each hand. The facing right figure has a baby strapped to her right side.

The smallest figures are in front. The facing left figure holds something in her left hand away from her body. The figures in the middle hold objects in each hand. The figure on the facing right wears a hat and red striped pants.