Snake Bite

Pottery as temperance propaganda 

HUMANITIES, November/December 2009, Volume 30, Number 6

This nineteenth-century ceramic Snake Jug was designed by brothers Cornwall and Wallace Kirkpatrick, the founders of Anna Pottery in Anna, IL. By combining the form of a traditional whisky container (the “little brown jug”) with a vividly wrought motif of snakes and devils, the brothers created a powerful yet whimsical work of temperance propaganda. The Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois, Urbana, has received NEH funding to improve storage of its artifact and object collection.