Pantaleon Panduro and his Pottery Legacy

Please mouseover golden words to get additional information.

Pantaleon Panduro was born in Tlaquepaque Jalisco on July 26th 1847. Gifted with an amazing talent to sculpt clay he created human figurines and busts with extreme realism.

Pantaleon never received any formal instruction but his natural talent granted him with international recognition. Thanks to Pantaleon pioneer work Tlaquepaque crafters, already known for their utilitarian ceramic became clay sculptors which eventually created a new tradition in the village.

Pantaleon Panduro

Historical Background
Tlaquepaque means place with hill of heavy clay lands; in the pre Hispanic times it belonged to the kingdom of Tonala and was inhabited by the Tecos ethnic group.

The Spaniards conquered Tonala kingdom in 1530; Tlaquepaque was then renamed San Pedro and became one of the biggest tile and brick making centers in the colony.

Ever since Tlaquepaque has been the most prolific pottery center in the country and until Pantaleon Panduro's clay figurines and busts became internationally known all the pottery made in the village had utilitarian purposes.

After Mexico's Independence from Spain was consummated; the country became a favorite place to be visited by European travelers and Guadalajara was always a stop point for those travelers.

As Pantaleon Panduro fame expanded his workshop was included in traveling guides about Mexico and he was visited by all kind of personalities that wanted their clay bust made by the artist.

Spanish journalist Ventura Reyes y Zavala wrote about Panduro "If a European Professor would come and see him working with clay, take him to Europe and give him proper instruction he could become a famous artist there".

A lot of legends are told about Pantaleon Panduro; one of the best known tells about President Porfirio Diaz visit to Guadalajara, and how Panduro who was invited to a meal in the President's honor made a bust of Diaz.

Porfirio Diaz Bust
Porfirio Diaz bust by Pantaleon Panduro

Someone saw Panduro working and told Porfirio Diaz about it, Diaz called him and was so surprised with the bust that he granted Panduro anything he would ask for. Panduro asked to be Mexico's president and Diaz let him be for an hour.

Other variations say Panduro went to Mexico City to give Diaz the completed bust and then the President offer him to be instructed in Europe but Panduro refused to leave his town.

Whatever the real story was, Pantaleon made a Porfirio Diaz bust that nowadays belongs to a private collection.

People from Tlaquepaque called Panduro El Brujo (the wizard) because he could make clay talk. Pantaleon had eleven children that helped him on the workshop and by the time he passed away on August 9th 1909, his clay sculpting; had already become a tradition.

Pantaleon Panduro potter                      
Potter by Pantaleon Panduro

Pantaleon Panduro Descendants
The Panduro family is the only potter's family in Tlaquepaque that has been working for 6 generations; his descendants have specialized in busts, figurines of traditional professions, Mexican presidents, nativity scenes and dolls.

Margarito Nunez Martinez
Pantaleon's great grandson Margarito Nunez (born in 1930) is the most recognized of Panduro's living descendants. In 1997 he won the Ceramic National Prize given by the Jalisco government and in 2004 he was named a "Living Legend", a special award given by FONART.

Margarito's most recognized work is the collection of figurines with the 66 Presidents of Mexico. He also makes collections of figurines of traditional professions such as mailmen and flowers and vegetables vendors.

Daughter Pilar Nunez Hernandez helps his father at the workshop and is in charge of promoting his artwork. In 2006 she won a special prize in the National Ceramic Contest.

Felipe Tornero Ramos
Panduro's great grandson; Felipe specializes in natural and multicolored clay figurines depicting people doing different chores like taking pictures, writing, fishing and
birds vending.

Felipe Tornero organ grinder

Organ Grinder by Felipe Tornero Ramos

Florencio Reyes Lomeli
Panduro's great great grandson Florencio is best known for his Nativity scenes and his Passion of Christ scenes; the Jalisco Folk Art Museum exhibits a 250 pieces Nativity scene made by Reyes Lomeli every Christmas season.

Jonathan Reyes Tovar
Jonathan is Florencio Reyes Lomeli nephew; at 31 he became the youngest potter to ever win the Presidential Award given in the National Ceramic Contest in 2010 with a scene composed by clay skeleton figurines representing the 200 hundred years of independent Mexico.

Berta and Graciela Panduro Cerda
Panduro's great granddaughters specialized in colorful nativity scenes and dolls wearing traditional Mexican gowns.
Graciela Panduro doll
Graciela Panduro Cerda's doll

Betty Gonzalez Panduro
Daughter of Berta Panduro Cerda, Betty makes Christmas ornaments and vendor dolls with embossed decorations.

Pantalon Panduro Museum
Located inside the El Refugio Cultural Center, the museum was open on November 3 1997 and it exhibits the winning pieces of the National Ceramic Contest.

The contest was first held in 1977 and it is the most renowned on its kind around the country. The contest includes 9 categories, a special award given by the President and a special award named Pantaleon Panduro.

The museum also holds temporary exhibits and has shop that features regional pottery.

Pantaleon Panduro Museum

    Visit Our Social Media Sites
    Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google +1

    Enjoy this Page?

    Follow Us

    Share this Page with your Friends
    Questions or Doubts
    For questions or more information please click here.

    Social Comments
    Have your say about what you just read! Leave a comment in the box below.