Post by Alex
Yesterday San Pablo hosted the exhibition Revisiting Ancient Oaxaca: an homage  to John Paddock on the 15 year anniversary of his death. The event started with a viewing of Quetzalcoatl (1952 University of Southern California) a short film which retold the legend of the pre-hispanic god Quetzalcoatl with music composed by Paddock. Then a few of Paddock's students shared their memories of working and collaborating with Paddock. His dedication and passion inspired them and many others to do great work in the fields of anthropology and archeology especially in Mesoamerican and Oaxacan studies.   

PictureSee that little ticket in the corner? That's Helen's handywork!
We then toured the temporary exhibit displaying pieces from Paddock's collection. It was incredibly cool to see documents and photos that Helen and I actually had the privilege to work with displayed for the public. A lot of hard work went into this exhibition, and even though Helen and I really didn't have any part in the preparation of the event (apart from pouring mezcal for the reception) it was an honor to hear more about Paddock from people who knew him well and worked with him closely. It also made me think about the work Helen and I are doing in the archive. It's true at times organizing documents and cleaning photographs can seem a bit monotonous, but as this plaque says it's an important step in making his amazing collection accessible to the public.  

And the thing is, working with his collection makes me really want to share it.  There's something really cool and almost personal about reading the same articles, newspaper clippings, memos, magazines and letters as Paddock. I've read some of his correspondences that not only mention plans for archeological digs, collections in the Museo Frissel, and courses at Mexico City College (now University of the Americas) but also talk about the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Kennedy Assassination.  I could probably also write full anthropology, archeology, and phycology theses based solely on the academic papers and studies in Paddock's collection. Well maybe I couldn't, but they are truly incredible resources for students and researches waiting to be discovered. 
Picturemmmm chapulines

So congratulations to Centro San Pablo and especially Nicholas Johnson for a  wonderful exhibition! Oh and just in case you were wondering the reception was pretty great too--nothing like chapulines and a bit of mezcal to end an academic event. 

Guests enjoying the reception
Browsing the Paddock display
Hard at work behind the scenes


07/06/2013 5:37pm

Awesome post about an awesome event! (Also, thank you for posting the picture of my ticket--that made my day!)

10/14/2013 2:45pm

If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.


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