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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. 

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Guests enjoying the reception
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Browsing the Paddock display
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Hard at work behind the scenes
Helen
7/6/2013 08:37:56 am

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

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10/14/2013 05:45:11 am

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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Jeff Paddock
10/4/2017 01:31:11 pm

Very interesting. I wish I'd been able to see this exhibit. I've been to Oaxaca and I've seen my great uncles name on displays at museums, but I've never met the man, I was a little to late. Thank you for posting about this and please let me know if any future events are in the works celebrating John, his work and the people he worked with.

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10/4/2017 05:18:24 pm

Dear Jeff,
The directors of the Biblioteca Fray Juan de Cordova would probably be happy to hear from John Paddock's family. Their contact information is here. The directors both speak English. http://bibliotecajuandecordova.mx/directorio/

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Renee Paddock Anderson
10/4/2017 04:51:17 pm

Great article! Wish I could have seen this exhibit. I only met my Uncle John a few times since he spent my whole childhood in Oaxaca, but he was fascinating and talented. Would love to hear about other exhibits featuring John and his work.

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10/4/2017 05:17:44 pm

Dear Renee,
See my message to Jeff-- I think you should reach out to the directions of the Biblioteca!
Best wishes,
Brook

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10/4/2017 05:16:48 pm

Dear John,
The directors of the Biblioteca Fray Juan de Cordova would probably be happy to hear from John Paddock's family. Their contact information is here. The directors both speak English. http://bibliotecajuandecordova.mx/directorio/

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