Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Support Local Culture is sponsored by Noosa Yogurt. Each week KRFC radio station in Fort Collins airs interviews with Northern Colorado artists. This week KRFC is airing Laurie Beth Zuckerman's interview with Michelle Venus, and tastefully edited by Ric Reed. You can listen to Laurie's October 2015 interview at this KRFC radio link:

You can also visit KRFC's website directly to see samples of Laurie's artwork and read her biography at this link:


Sunday, September 20, 2015


Want to learn to make an old-fashioned, folk art Memory Jug? Collectors, assemblage artists, sculptors, join Laurie Beth Zuckerman for her two-day weekend workshop in Loveland, Colorado at Lola's Fresh Patina Art Gallery. I will teach you how to make any form of traditional or modern memory jug you are interested in. See examples of my own memory jugs on this announcement, on this blog, or at my website: lauriebethzuckerman.com

Email me at lauriebethzuckerman@gmail.com for more details, and to make your reservation for this exclusive workshop. I only offer one or two small workshops a year in the Northern Colorado area. Space is limited, so please register before October 10, 2015.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Tarnished Angels memory jug is on exhibit in the fifth Annual Contemporary Art Survey show at the Lincoln Center Art Galleries. It is such an honor to be selected for this national competition by Guest Juror, Dean Sobel, Executive Director of the fabulous Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, Colorado. This is also the second year I have had my memory jugs selected for these national juried exhibitions at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The Annual Contemporary Art Survey offers a thought-provoking and eclectic array of painting, sculpture, fiber art, photography, mixed media, and installations. The exhibition is meant to be a survey—an overview of contemporary art across the country. 34 artists from 15 states were chosen from more than 600 works of art by artists in 30 states, including 7 from Fort Collins and Masonville. The exhibit opened on Friday, August 28 with an excellent gallery lecture by Dean Sobel, and a packed artists' reception.

The legendary exhibition designer, Jack Curfman, arranged this show and gave me a personal tour of his curating philosophy after I had completed installing my memory jug. I had been fortunate to work with Jack last year at the Global Village International Museum in Fort Collins on an exhibit of vintage Mexican Folk Art, where I created a large altar installation of antique Mexican dolls and saltillos. Jack assigned me a very nice space in the front area of the Lincoln Center Art Gallery for my memory jug. Below are exhibition photos from different vantage points in this beautiful glass-enclosed gallery run by Jeanne Shoaff.

The Annual Contemporary Art Survey exhibition will close October 10, 2015. Stop by if you are in Fort Collins!

Fort Collins artists Jennifer Davey (middle), Anne Bossert (right), 
and Joe Coca (third from right) have their artwork shown in my photo above.

Lincoln Center Art Gallery, shown above, is open Tuesdays-Saturdays: 12-6pm. Free admission. 
Galleries are open most evenings during the center's music and theater performances.  
417 West Magnolia Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521, (970) 416-2737

Monday, August 10, 2015

LAURIE BETH ZUCKERMAN'S MEMORY JUGS BOOK CD: Detailed instructions on how to make memory jugs, memory jars, memory vessels

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's MEMORY JUGS BOOK CD is the only complete resource on how to make memory jugs and other folk art memory vessels and memory ware. This "workshop in a book" provides Laurie's detailed, step-by-step instructions, plus images of her unique memory jug artworks. 

This 255-page MEMORY JUGS BOOK CD includes an extensive photo gallery of antique and vintage memory jugs has been edited and compiled from museums, galleries, private collectors, and auctions. The DVD includes historical discussions and debates about this enigmatic folk art tradition, commonly associated with Southern African-American funeral customs, Victorian mourning practices, and Outsider Art. Found-object assemblage, mixed-media, and mosaic artists throughout the United States, as well as artists in Canada, Europe, and Australia have purchased this publication. Folk art collectors will appreciate the weblinks to dealers who sell antique and vintage memory jugs, as well as links to contemporary memory jug artists.

Laurie Beth Zuckerman is an internationally recognized and published artist who specializes in making Victorian-style and contemporary memory jugs, home altars, and large-scale altar installations for exhibition in museums, universities, and galleries. Laurie's creations have been profiled in Lynne Perrella's two recent books, Art Making, Collections, and Obsessions, and Art Making and Studio Spaces. MEMORY JUGS BOOK CD was featured in Antiques and Collecting Magazine's article on Memory Jugs by David McCormick in February 2011.

ORDER MEMORY JUGS BOOK CD for $20, plus $3.75 for shipping/handling by choosing either of these two easy payment methods: 

Payment by Paypal with Credit Card: You do not need a personal Paypal account to use this Buy Now service. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.

Payment by Personal Check or Money Order: Request an invoice, or inquire about shipping costs to your country. A PDF file is also available through Dropbox for $20.  

Please email lauriebethzuckerman@gmail.com

View sample pagespreads:


"When I made that memory jug... I received a kind comment from Laurie Beth Zuckerman... It was a pleasant surprise as I instantly recognized Laurie's name from my initial discovery of these fantastic folk art objects. I'd even put together a little sheet of her jugs, which I printed out and it sits just above my Mac. She makes beautiful memory jugs, do check them out. Anyway, it put Laurie back on my radar and I saw she had a cd book available to buy on her blog, $20, so I did..... and it's FANTASTIC!! I highly recommend buying a copy. Not only is there a great selection of images, jugs both historical and those made by Laurie herself, but there's also a wealth of information from the history of these jugs to how to make your very own (mine was a rather scattershot approach in comparison!!) Here are just a few examples of what you will find if you wisely buy a copy. Laurie kindly gave me permission to use some of her images on here. Beautiful aren't they? I'm looking forward to making my next one now!" Garrett Life Blog by United Kingdom artist, Scott Garrett.

"Your wonderful CD arrived today, and I have stayed up 'til 2:30AM reading it! (I only meant to take a quick look, but couldn't stop!) What a great resource! You must have worked hard to assemble all this information, instructions, and great photos of so many kinds of memory jugs, and it was well written too! I'm off to bed now, but I will be coming back to read and re-read."

"I just wanted to thank you for the CD. I've been studying it for hours. You are a very generous artist. It is full of great information with thorough instructions that will help me develop my own Memory pieces. The photos of vintage and contemporary work are a treasure. Your pieces are spectacular. Rich design and so full of depth and meaning."

"Thank you so much for the CD I really enjoyed it and was very inspired by the examples. I found the CD full of great information, from the interesting ideas on history, to the how to section and list of traditional objects. I was mostly excited by the lovely photos, I haven't been able to find many examples of old jugs so they are great reference material for me and I liked how you categorized them. I will recommend the CD on my site to anyone interested in making a jug or wanting more information on them."

"I love love love your book!!! Thank you so much. Very inspirational and thank you for the instructions. I have not gotten started yet but am looking forward to starting soon. I can see that preplanning is a good idea. I have looked at memory jugs for years and wondered how on earth they were made. I knew it had to be pretty simple materials as they didn't have all the fancy epoxies that we have today. Your book really helped clear up the mystery. Your memory jugs are fabulous!!!"

"Received your CD book in the mail. Love it! Such a wonderful collection of photos of memory jugs, including our inspiration piece that we saw on the Antiques Roadshow a few years ago, "The Thing"! So neat to see a picture of it in your book! We were so ready to start our project, that we finished it in one evening. The pieces had been sitting on the kitchen table for two weeks! We are happy with the final results."

"I got your book/CD in the mail and can't take my eyes off the screen. What a terrific job you did with this book and how generous you are to share all of those tips. I cannot WAIT to get to the store and buy the supplies and start exploring. I had no idea that there were others out there who shared my passion, my fascination with memory jugs…and more."

"Received your CD and I really loved it. Wow, what beautiful imagery and I enjoyed the history and deeper meaning of these vessels. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing not only the imagery of the Memory Jug but getting a deeper understanding of the symbolism and the creative process in regards to making them. It was very inspiring to me."

"Wow. I just discovered your incredible art and ordered your CD book. I cannot WAIT to get it. I've been making mosaic structures for years, but have been frustrated with my inability to find a putty, as was used years ago in making memory jars. I hope you have the answer in your book. Can't wait to see more of your work, too!"

"I just got my CD from Laurie Zuckerman. It's a fabulous book that gives the history and shows all the different types of jugs, vases, bowls, that people have covered with trinkets of their lives. Laurie is a fabulous artist. Check out her altars and memory jugs. If you love folk art or Mexican art like me, you'll love her art."

"I watched—read LOL your CD last night and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. It is a very unique and informative way to present the memory jugs and its relations. I can’t wait to share it with my friends. Your hard work and love for the art form shows in the presentation. It was well worth the $20."

"I love the CD!! I just got home from vacation and have piles of laundry and other unpacking to do, but…had to pop in CD…and couldn't stop!! It's very inspiring and informative. Several points you made hadn't occurred to me. It was well worth the selling price. I am sure I will refer to it over and over."

"I wanted to tell you how much I love the memory jug book. These objects have always moved me somehow and to see such an array is just unbelievably compelling. I have to admit, I love yours the best! ALL of your pieces are somehow so haunting and complex and memorable. Thanks for such a treat!"

"I finally got to check out the CD. I am VERY happy with it. All the wonderful photos of different types of memory art. My favorite in the book is the one you did in memory of your father. Unbelieveably beautiful. I now can't wait to get started on my first one. Your book helped so much."

"I am just overwhelmed by the Memory Jars CD. It is the most comprehensive and inclusive work on them that I have ever encountered. I am so grateful to have found your website, and thrilled to have ordered the CD."

"I received the CD yesterday and watched it through with great interest (avid, I should say). I am very impressed by your scholarship, your collections, and–of course–the memory jugs themselves."

"I got your CD in the mail this week and have spent some time today looking it over.  It's a wonderful art history book. The history is so interesting and important to know before embarking on a project."

"It's arrived!... and it's FANTASTIC!!... better than I even expected... and I expected it to be really good!! Thank you!"

"What an amazing art form you have taught to others. As far as memory preservation, it beats scrapbooking any day!!!"

"The cd is full of all the information one needs to make these crazy folksy works of art. I bought and love it. BUY it!"

"I purchased your CD recently from ebay...OMG I love it!!!! Can not wait to try one on my own."

"Received the CD and have only had time to skim it, but my initial reaction is (and you may quote me) 

"OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG! The photographs alone were enough to make me hyperventilate."

"Your jugs are more authentic and thought-provoking than other modern ones I have seen."

"AWESOME e-book I can't wait to make one. GREAT CD and PICS. Thanks so much!!"

"I am enjoying the CD so much. There is a wealth of information on it. Thank you!"

"Your CD is very inspiring! You have lots of great information in your CD."

"A - Z, useful source of info for memory ware and related folk art."

"I am in awe of what you create. I would like to order your CD."

"Excellent resource and thanks for all the examples pictured."

"Just a note to say that I LOVE the book! It is beautiful."

"Love the CD, would love to take your class."

"Very informative!! Wonderful images!"

"LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!!"

Friday, December 5, 2014

LAURIE BETH ZUCKERMAN'S BLACK MADONNA ALTAR INSTALLATION at Boulder's Dairy Center for the Arts during Día de los Muertos

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Madre Dolorosa altar installation
at the Boulder Dairy Center for the Arts 2014

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's altar exhibition at the Boulder Dairy Center for the Arts was on display from October 15-November 4, 2014. Here are a few closeup photographs from my Black Madonna altar installation, Madre Dolorosa: The Spanish Lady. I dedicated this altar to my grandmother, Sara Melnik Zuckerman and her six-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Zuckerman, who died in the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918, in Brooklyn, New York. The entire altar is built from antique furniture, Victorian mourning apparel, vintage pottery from Mexico, and a multitude of other old objects collected in antique store, flea markets and thrift shops around the country.

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Madre Dolorosa Altar

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Madre Dolorosa Altar

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Madre Dolorosa altar installation
in her exhibition at the Boulder Dairy Center for the Arts,
entitled Memory: Loss and Found

Please see my earlier post Assemblage artists Laurie Beth Zuckerman and Susan Wechsler.html for more photos from our two-person exhibition at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, Colorado, in October-November, 2014.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

LAURIE BETH ZUCKERMAN EXHIBITS SHADOWBOX ALTARS at the Historic Carnegie Building's Community Creative Center, Vivid Conversations Show, November 2014

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Nuestra Senora del Monte Carmelo,
shadowbox altar, 2001-2014

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Nuestra Senora del Monte Carmelo,
shadowbox altar, 2001-2014

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's shadowbox dollhouse altars were on display in the "Vivid Conversations" exhibition at the Historic Carnegie Building's Community Creative Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. This November 2014 show was curated by artist Lili Francuz, who invited ten local artists to be included. Each artist was given their own wall and I displayed several new altars.

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Nuestra Senora de la Soledad altar 2014

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Breaking the Mold I
dollhouse altar 2014

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Breaking the Mold II
dollhouse altar 2014

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
shadowbox altar 2014

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's The Girl I Left Behind
dollhouse altar 2009/2014

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's exhibit of shadowboxes and dollhouse altars
at the Community Creative Center in the Historic Carnegie Building

My husband, Thomas Mathies, also exhibited his religious folk art crucifixes in this exhibition. Carved from tree roots and painted with traditional gesso and egg tempera, Tom's work looked spectacular in this historic building. Below are a few photos of his display.

Installation photo of Vivid Conversations exhibition in November 2014
at the Historic Carnegie Building's Community Creative Center in Fort Collins.
My husband, Thomas Mathies' crucifixes are hanging in the rear of this photo.

Installation photo of Vivid Conversations exhibition in November 2014
at the Historic Carnegie Building's Community Creative Center in Fort Collins.
My husband, Thomas Mathies' wooden crucifixes are hanging in this photo.
The wooden altar nicho, with a statue of Saint Francis, at the right of the upper photo were both built and carved by Tom, and painted by Laurie Beth Zuckerman.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Madre Dolorosa: The Spanish Lady" installation
includes three altars and three memory jugs at The Dairy Center of the Arts

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Memory: Loss and Found altar installations
at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, Colorado

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Madre Dolorosa: The Spanish Lady
altar installation center closeup, Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder, Co.

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Memory: Loss and Found installation
at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, Colorado

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Memory: Loss and Found installation
at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, Colorado

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Bella Donna" altar installation at The Dairy Center

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Bella Donna" altar installation at The Dairy Center.
Donna Zuckerman is pictured on her wedding day with her husband,  Irving Stone.

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "The Tarnished Angels"
altar installation at The Dairy Center

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Madre Dolorosa: The Spanish Lady"
altar installation, grandma's empty rocking chair and suitcases at The Dairy Center

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Madre Dolorosa: The Spanish Lady"
altar installation with "Locked Away" memory jug at The Dairy Center

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Madre Dolorosa: The Spanish Lady"
altar installation with "The Bell Jar" memory jug at The Dairy Center
Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Madre Dolorosa: The Spanish Lady"
altar installation with "Locked Away" and "The Bell Jar"
memory jugs at The Dairy Center

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Behind the Eight Ball" memory jug
made in 2003 is included in her altar installation at The Dairy Center

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's altar exhibition at The Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder is entitled, "Memory: Loss and Found." This is a joint exhibition with my dear friend, mosaic artist Susan Wechsler of Boulder County, Colorado. Susan and I collaborated in her Longmont studio last year, sharing each others personal techniques and artistic sensibilities with found-object assemblage. We have planned this exhibition since March 2013, each creating new works expressly for our theme and The Dairy Center venue. Our exhibition is unique and outstanding, and I am grateful to Susan for suggesting this joint venture. Few other artists are as obsessive and meticulous about their artwork as we are.

Susan and I define ourselves as Jewish altar makers. Our eclectic shrines and memorials reflect our own family traditions and life experiences, and are informed by diverse cultural heritages from around the world. We both honor memory in order to evoke spirituality in our work, share a mutual love of collecting and flea marketing, and incorporate vintage materials into our found-object assemblage shrines.

Our exhibition title, "Memory: Loss and Found" plays with grammar to make a point. Both of us have created works that reflect "losses" we have experienced, and to make a statement about what is "found" by examination of and reflection upon memory. Some observers may reflect that the found objects and personal items used in our works are imbued with the energy and spirit of those who once possessed these things. My altars are constructed primarily from antique Victorian mourning paraphernalia, Mexican black clay folk art from Oaxaca, and a host of vintage collectibles.

I made these Madre Dolorosa altars and memory jugs in remembrance of my Russian-Jewish ancestors and their tragic life stories, which have colored my life with a somber gloom. This black cloud has hovered over me as long as I can remember. My altars are manifestations of these family legacies, told to me by my storytelling father, Hollywood screenwriter and novelist, George Zuckerman. My father used words meant for moving images or the printed page to tell his stories. I use historical objects in a physical manner to express my own take on these deeply personal stories. I aim for a visual shock and awe reaction from my viewers—I want people to feel my work in their gut.

My "Madre Dolorosa: The Spanish Lady" altar installation includes three individual altars, plus a rocking chair display. This suite honors the sadness my Grandmother Sarah Melnik Zuckerman, and her only daughter, my Great Aunt Elizabeth Zuckerman, who died at the age of six during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, aka "The Spanish Lady." Sarah lost her mind, fled home, and lived away for two years, abandoning her three sons, the youngest of whom was my two-year-old father. My father named me Beth, out of respect for his older sister, Elizabeth. It would have been too much for my Grandmother Sarah, if my parents had named me Elizabeth.

My "Madre Dolorosa" installation includes a suite of three memory jugs, two of which honor the massacre of nearly thirty Melnik/Zuckerman relatives during the Nazi invasion of Poland in July 1941. Their titles are "Behind the Eight Ball" and "The Bell Jar." The third memory jug, "Locked Away" honors the memories of her lost daughter that were locked in my grandmother's fragile mind, and remained secret from her four surviving sons. My teenage father did not know he had a sister until he discovered a trunk of Elizabeth's belongings in the attic.

My "Bella Donna" altar installation honors my first cousin, Donna Zuckerman and her new husband, Irving Stone, who died in a single car crash on their honeymoon to Canada. They were buried one week after their nuptials in Brooklyn, New York, 1973. I was not in attendance for either life-altering event, but my brother, Gregg Zuckerman was. I was living across the country in Eugene, Oregon. I had just graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, and arrived in Eugene just days before Donna and Irv passed away. My sense of hopefulness for life and happily ever after died the day my mother called to relay the devastating news. 

All three of my altar installations and four memory jugs in this exhibit are a part of my Memento Mori series. Memento Mori is a Latin phrase for “be mindful of death" that can also be interpreted as “remember that you are mortal.” Memento Mori refers to the historic genre of artistic creations in European funereal art, cemetery tombstones, and architecture, and include the Mexican El Día de los Muertos imagery used on ofrenda altars. Our exhibit was scheduled to coincide with El Día de los Muertos, and will close after the holiday on November 4.

To see an earlier installation of my Madre Dolorosa Altar that I exhibited in 2012 at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center in Colorado, click on this blogpost.

Laurie Beth Zuckerman (left) and Susan Wechsler (right)
congratulate each other on their exhibit at the Dairy Center for the Arts

Susan Wechsler (left) and Laurie Beth Zuckerman (right)
at the Dairy Center on opening night

For more information about Laurie Zuckerman and Susan Wechsler's exhibition, please log onto The Dairy Center for the Arts for show times and dates. Please visit artist, Susan Wechsler at her website and blog: http://www.mosaicsbysusan.com 

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Antique Mexican China Poblana Doll Altar installation
at The Global Village Museum of Arts and Culture Mexico exhibition in Fort Collins.

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Antique Mexican China Poblana Doll Altar installation
at The Global Village Museum of Arts and Culture, Fort Collins, Colorado

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Antique Mexican China Poblana Doll Altar installation
at The Global Village Museum of Arts and Culture, Fort Collins, Colorado

The MEXICO: Objects for Living, Objects for Life exhibition will be on display from October 3, 2014–January 24, 2015 at The Global Village Museum of Arts and Culture in Fort Collins. Laurie Beth Zuckerman's installation of antique Mexican China Poblana tourist dolls at this international folk art museum is representative of handmade costume dolls from the early to mid-1900s. Typical "mestizo campesino" munecas (dolls) were made by Mexican artisans as well as foreign makers and sold to tourists during the heyday of foreign tourism. These cloth and/or composition dolls displayed the most famous indigenous dresses of the predominant regions of Mexico. In the early 20th century, daughters of hacienda owners began to embroider colorful dresses for rodeo events, known as Charreadas. They called these dresses "China Poblanas." These dolls model these real-life costumes. I have collected these soulful dolls from flea markets for twenty-some years, as my altars provide a wonderful new home for these orphaned tourist dolls.

The legend of the China Poblana began around 1621. Spain had extended its provinces to the Orient with its base in Manila. Each year Spanish ships would bring treasures to Mexico. A young exotic Hindu princess from the Mughal Kingdom named Mirra was bought at the slave market in Manila. She had been taken prisoner by Portuguese pirates on the coast of India. She was then sold to a sea captain and his wife in Puebla by a fellow Spanish ship captain, and her name was changed to Catarina de San Juan after she was baptized. She wore a colorful silk sari across her face and became know as "La Chinita" or "the little Chinese girl." Catrina died in 1688 after living her life as a nun. Her tomb of the "China Poblana" is located in the Colegio de la Compania de Jesus church in Puebla, Mexico. 

A good book for collectors to research more about China Poblana dolls is Mexican Popular Art: Clothing and Dolls, by Wendy Scalzo, available at Amazon books. Most of the dolls in my altar collection are represented in this beautiful colorful book. They range from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Fort Collins Museum of Art's website displays Laurie Beth Zuckerman's
"Up in Smoke" Memory Jug for their 2014 exhibition,
"Artistic Eye on History: Fort Collins 150"

Laurie Beth Zuckerman completed three memory jugs for the Fort Collins Museum of Art's "Artistic Eye on History: Fort Collins 150" invitational exhibition, curated by Marianne Lorenz, former Executive Director of the FCMOA. This show honors Fort Collins 150th birthday. It opened July 24 with a private reception for members, sponsors, and all seventeen artists in the exhibit, and will be on display to the public until September 28, 2014. The FCMOA's featured artists are: Amelia Caruso, Bob Coonts, Louise Cutler, Jennifer Davey, Monica Deming, Clint Eccher, Diane Edwards, Diane Findley, Wendy Franzen, Jennifer Ivanovic, Mary McCauley, Dolores Rowland, Ajean Ryan, Two Sisters Mosaic’s Jane Sullivan and Jean McBride, Eldon Ward, and myself.

Fort Collins Museum of Art displays three of Laurie Beth Zuckerman's
latest Memory Jugs in their 2014 exhibition,
"Artistic Eye on History: Fort Collins 150"
Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Up in Smoke" Memory Jug installation
at the Fort Collins Museum of Art's "Artistic Eye on History: Fort Collins 150."
Ajean Ryan's work is on the wall behind my Memory Jugs.
Fort Collins Museum of Art in Old Town is housed in this
National Register of Historic Places former US Post Office.
Fort Collins Museum of Art exhibition banners picture
Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Up in Smoke" Memory Jug

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Crossing Over the River Styx Memory Jug

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Crossing Over the River Styx Memory Jug,
with painting by Jennifer Davey and sculpture by Wendy Franzen

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's Crossing Over the River Styx Memory Jug, left,
and Up in Smoke Memory Jug. Paintings by Clint Eccher.

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Home on the Grange" memory jug
was constructed in Laurie's backyard studio

Detail of Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Home on the Grange" Memory Jug 

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Home on the Grange" Memory Jug side view

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Home on the Grange" Memory Jug installation
at the Fort Collins Museum of Art's "Artistic Eye on History: Fort Collins 150"

Laurie Beth Zuckerman's "Home on the Grange" installation base displays
antique cast iron shoe lasts, rusted cowbells, and a SAD iron

Background information on Laurie Beth Zuckerman's three Memory Jugs at Fort Collins Museum of Art:

UP IN SMOKE Memory Jug

I worked my "Up in Smoke" Memory Jug into a found-object assemblage installation for this exhibition. Vintage souvenirs depicting Western-themed stereotypes of wrangling cowboys, warring Indians, and covered wagon trains, were applied to this antique stoneware whiskey jug. Lucky pennies, good luck horseshoes, charms, and keychains, tourist ashtrays, and other copper-plated memorabilia were gathered throughout Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming during years of flea marketing.

This memory jug honors my father's sixteen years in Hollywood as a dramatic screenwriter of psychological westerns, dark film noir flicks, and smoldering melodramas during the mid-40s and 50s. In the late 50s, George Zuckerman’s career in cinema went "up in smoke," due to a sea change in Hollywood toward family friendly comedies. He carried on his author's life as a Broadway playwright and novelist. George's best known novel, The Last Flapper, was based on his close friend, Zelda Fitzgerald, who died when the mental hospital where she was staying went "up in smoke" as she awaited electroshock therapy in a locked room.


Antique copper coins and brass war medals, all souvenirs of travels to faraway lands, are used to encase this enigmatic memory jug, made from an antique stoneware whiskey jug. According to ancient Greek mythology, relatives placed a coin in the mouth of the deceased to help pay their ferry toll across the River Styx. The compass I added points the way to the afterworld, and bells signal the dead's arrival.


My Home on the Grange Memory Jug is a pun on Brewster Higley's 1873 poem “Home on the Range,” which served as a anthem to frontier life. My jug was constructed on an old dairy farm cream jug, and stands as a memorial to the pioneers who settled Fort Collins in the early mid-1800s. The homesteading act helped multiply the few farms and ranches already existing on the abandoned military fort in Old Town and the town was incorporated in 1873. Granges were established in Fort Collins around the same time, encouraging families to band together to promote the well-being of the community and agriculture. Fort Collins enjoyed favorable conditions for farming and livestock to flourish, and once the first railroad was completed 1877, these products were shipped out and consumer goods brought in.