I am Casey Reed a native New Mexican. Thank you the opportunity to tell you about myself and declare my respect for the pluralistic culture here in New Mexico. I have lived in other parts of the United States, but here in New Mexico we live in the most pluralistic cultural environment in the United States. This is easily illustrated with the fact that the original Native Americans still have much of their home lands and cultures in tack that are thousands of years old and there are Hispanic communities that are 300+ years old here.
My parents moved here before I was born because they found the culture here open and accepting too. They were excited by all the indigenous people of completely different cultures from their own European roots. A rich ethnology, history, and huge open spaces were beckoning them to pursue their own dreams of half discovery and half -get out of the house for the weekend. They were inspired by McNitt's book Anasazi and took some classes at UNM to become amateur archaeologists. We traveled all over the state of New Mexico and occasionally collected pottery, textiles, kachinas, and other artifacts. From Arizona's Hopi kachinas and Pima or Apache baskets to Navajo rugs and Pueblo or Anasazi pottery our experiences during my childhood and maturing years helped me develop a great respect for the indigenous peoples of the Southwest and their art.
Pursuing some key interests from childhood, I now have degrees in anthropology and psychology from The University of New Mexico. I have also studied Analytic Chemistry as it specifically is applied to Dye Analysis. My formal education focused on how to scientifically research the humanities. I learned how to make operational definitions for use in hypothesis building, and then through experimental design and the analysis of results of experimentation develop a stronger more reliable and reproducible basis for building theory. This training helps me look intuitively and analytically at the art I work with.
I look at problems systematically and each ceramic or textile presents its own set of requirements to achieve an understanding, analysis, and a plan of action. Analyzing art needs to be both scientific and aesthetic for my work.
There are very few
written provenance following objects around to derive historical, ethnological,
or conservation implications. We work with the material evidence-
the details of what we see or evidence of what was done:
The focus on pottery restoration is to preserve the original Indian artists' creation. I enjoy identifying with the artist through analyzing the process of how the ceramic was created. The size of the coils, how well they were smoothed out and what slips were used, as well as understanding polished surfaces and how they were applied, to how hot they fired the ceramic, and how and why did the paints or slips change or not change colors from the firing.
Textiles are equally intriguing. There are a myriad of materials, dyes, and techniques that together give us real evidence of how they were made, what they were woven from, where the materials came from, and with synthetic dye patent dates we can associate those dates with the textile for no older than dates or objective information about when the textile was made.
The research work is a very good way to understand the processes that were used in the original, while building respect for the people and their skills who originally created the art. The bottom line is more information is always generated about each textile and the textile art is enriched with accurate insights into the history of the period, materials that went into the making of the textile and ethnological clues to help understand the Navajo better.
I use computerized High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) technology and microscopy for the analysis of Navajo textiles. From the existing literature that curators, conservators, and dye analysts wrote I started developing the educational foundation for doing the work in the 1980's. I eventually had interviews with a well published dye analyst in Belgium Dr. Wouters (Ph.D. in Biochemistry and he uses HPLC dye analysis), trained with a well published dye analyst in Germany Helmut Schweppe (Ph.D. in Chemistry and a career dye analyst for BASF), and received personal and professional support and information from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC I am especially grateful to Max Saltzman and his knowledge in dye analysis and for all his help and friendship. Without him I would be much less able than I am today. As a consequence, I have developed an operational computerized HPLC laboratory.
I have an extensive collection of dye standards from Dr. Helmut Schweppe - Germany, Max Saltzman - US, and Isabel Myers Deshcinney (Navajo Native Dyes) to compare unknown samples with. The European natural and synthetic dye collections have been certified as accurate by Helmut Schweppe as he certified the dye standard collections at the Smithsonian Institute and the J. Paul Getty institute. I have reproduced key results in the literature published by Dr. Wouters using HPLC dye analysis. I also developed a new mobile phase chemistry for doing HPLC and microscopic methods for the extraction of the yarns, as well as a new chemistry methodology to extract the dye from the yarn to lessen modification of the dyes during the extraction process than has been published.
I have been a research associate at the School of American Research and I am now a Research Associate, at the Laboratory of Anthropology as part of the Museum of New Mexico and at the American Indian Arts Research Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
On a social, psychological, and linguistic level I have published several articles with my wife on plays and Latin American literature. We made thematic analyses using psychoanalytic metaphoric interpretations and cognitive structural analysis. We used the deep structure and psycho linguistic meanings in the literature to generate insight into author's and our own cultural and psychological dynamics.
In today's life we must be flexible enough to use and adapt many paradigms to investigate, research, and resolve many issues concerning our complex world.
you for your interest and time.