Maestros de Plata
William Spratling and Mexico's Silver Renaissance

Sneak Preview by Patrick Kapty


Lovers of Mexican silver, get out your calendars, mark off the weekend of October 5 and 6, 2002, and make your plans now to be in San Antonio, Texas, for the gala world-premiere opening of "Maestros de Plata: William Spratling and Mexico's Silver Renaissance"!

William Spratling Jaguar Necklace
silver & amethyst

Over 400 pieces of Mexican silver jewelry and objects have been gathered together from some of the very best collections in the world to present the most complete and comprehensive presentation on this topic ever mounted.
Literally years in the planning and preparation by Penny Morrill, author of Silver Masters of Mexico and co-author of Mexican Silver, Maestros de Plata promises to be a feast par excellence for lovers of 20th century Mexican silver design.

William Spratling Mermaid Pin
silver & azurite


William Spratling Mayan Cross Necklace

Although the exhibition is weighted toward the work of William Spratling, it will also include heavy representation of the works of other important designers, including Frederick Davis, Hector Aguilar, Antonio Pineda, Sigi Pineda, the taller of Los Castillo, etc.

The accompanying catalog of the same title will be available early this fall, and promises to become the bible for lovers of Mexican silver everywhere. The coffee table size volume, to be published by Abrams in all their glossy glory, will be lavishly illustrated with full color photographs of every item in the exhibition, as well as many that were not included due to space constraints.

William Spratling Hands Buckle
silver & tortoise shell

The book will also include the scholarly efforts of several recognized experts in the field, as follows:

Penny Morrill: Renaissance - Transformation

John W. Scott: William Spratling in New Orleans - The 1920s

Helen Delpar: Mexico and Taxco, 1920 - 1940: Meccas for North Americans

Adriana Williams: Covarrubias, Spratling, and Davis

Jaime Castrejon: Spratling and the Taxquenians

Gobi Stromberg: Origins and Development of the Taxco Silver Industry

Christie Romero: Mexican Metalsmithing Techniques

Patrick Kapty: The Matter of Taxco

Jill Crawford: Reflections of a Collector

Phyllis Goddard: William Spratling: His Hallmarks and Stylistic Development

William Spratling spoon

William Spratling Mask Pin

William Spratling  Buckle
silver & malachite

William Spratling Serpent Box
silver & tortoise shell

William Spratling  Fish Pin
silver & amethyst

William Spratling  Monkey Pin


The opening weekend festivities will include a gala opening party on the evening of October 4, by invitation only, a day-long symposium with an international slate of speakers on October 5, and the public opening of October 6. The symposium is open to the public on a first-come first-served basis, there is no charge other than the regular museum admission, and will include a special viewing of the exhibition prior to the public opening.
The line up for the symposium is as follows:

Sigi Pineda - speaker
Wolmar Castillo - speaker
Phyllis Goddard - speaker
Christie Romero - speaker
Patrick Kapty - speaker
Penny Morrill - chair

William Spratling Rubenstein Necklace

William Spratling Guitar Pin
silver & amethyst

William Spratling North Star Necklace
silver & abalone

Please click here for further information about the symposium, and the exhibition.

Symposium Update

For those not able to attend the opening festivities, the exhibition will be travelling to other museums across the country, and perhaps internationally, so check back here for the upcoming dates and locations as they are announced. However, for lovers of Mexican silver, this is an event not to be missed!

William Spratling Modern Bowl
silver & wood

Article by Patrick Kapty
“Patrick Kapty California Dreamin Retro Modern”
(760) 671-4879 


Photographs courtesy  of  Phyllis Goddard of,
 and collections of  Jill Crawford 
web design by Marbeth Schon
 Copyright ©  Modern Silver magazine 2002

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