(MSOE staff member Jordan Weston shows the finished rapid-prototyped piece constructed of sintered nylon.)

The face vessels made by African-Americans 150 years ago in Edgefield, South Carolina, might have been small, but they told big stories -- stories of cultural movement, human survival, spiritualism and technological prowess, according to Jon Prown, director for the Chipstone Foundation.

Under curator Claudia Mooney, Chipstone has created Face Jugs: Art and Ritual in 19th-Century South Carolina, an exhibition that opens at the Birmingham (Alabama) Museum of Art on January 13, 2013.

(The original 19th-century face jug from Edgefield, South Carolina. Courtesy of the Chipstone Foundation.)

The exhibit, which originated at the Milwaukee Art Museum and was also on display at the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina, has a modern story to tell as well -- one that demonstrates the power of 3D technology to eliminate geographical barriers and preserve culture for future generations.

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