Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

It was partially the encouragement she received early on from collector Alexander Girard, who bought her first figures, that enabled her to continue on her path, a path that led to the revival of figurative pottery, a tradition that dates back to pre-historic Pueblo cultures. This tradition ceased with the arrival of the Spanish, since figurative pottery was condemned as idolatrous.

"She really caused a revolution or renaissance in Pueblo ceramics. Her genius was that she took an exiting tradition, did something different with it, and it simply caught on. As a result the whole shape of Pueblo pottery has changed," says Barbara Babcock, author of The Pueblo Storyteller, a book about Helen.

"It's a very, very unique phenomenon in Pueblo ceramics for someone to just turn a new corner," said Stephen Becker, director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe.

Please see Volume 1 for complete text.
Photo ©1997 by Joanne Rijmes