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Independent Press Award

2024 Distinguished Favorite

SPENCER MacCALLUM Memories-Mystique-Mata Ortiz

Charmayne Samuelson

Was it all destiny? Charmayne Samuelson draws you into this mesmerizing Spencer MacCallum biography, the amazing tale of an incurable explorer who meets his destiny! She now introduces this authorized and definitive biography of Spencer MacCallum, the American Princeton-educated anthropologist who discovered Juan Quezada and Mata Ortiz pottery. Buying three distressed pots in Deming, NM, he was sure they were prehistoric. When told they were not, he went on an adventure to find the potter and did not give up until he did. Praise for the book from Mata Ortiz experts hails it as "Wonderfully written!" and "An important book!" A biography in progress for many years, and after hundreds of interview hours and extensive research extracting his life story from audio and video tapes, this cross-border adventure is now available for all to enjoy. From childhood, each step of Spencer’s life seemed destined to take him to Juan Quezada and Mata Ortiz. His natural curiosity at a young age of discovering ancient relics continued on with this incredible tale of him trekking across Mexico to find one single potter, dirt-poor farmer/cowboy Juan Quezada, propelling him onto the world stage as an unlikely superstar artist. As time went on, and as Spencer's legacy, thousands of village potters have found true artistic and monetary success in their once-dirt-poor village in Mata Ortiz, Mexico. Of the anthropologist and humanitarian Spencer, those who knew him wondered this age-old question: What made him tick? That and other questions are defined in this biography that spans a time in history.

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