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Lela and Van Gutierrez (1895-1966/c1870-1956)

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Lela and Van Gutierrez Southwest Indian Pottery Contemporary Santa Clara Pueblo signaturePicture of Lela and Van Gutierrez Santa Clara Pueblo ca 1933Lela Gutierrez (1895-1966) and her husband Van (c1870-1956) tested many ideas in pottery making, but only when they developed a decorative scheme featuring earth colors on a matte background did they achieve one, which was an enduring success. Bold curvilinear designs on a neutral tan or beige became the base for a new Santa Clara style.

Lela Naranjo Gutierrez and her son Luther Gutierrez (1911-1987) collaborated on pottery following the death of Lela's husband, Van, in 1956. Lela and Van were true innovators at Santa Clara Pueblo. They specialized in pictorial designs in a variety of hues and colors not normally associated with pueblo pottery. Luther continued in his father's style.

Photo on right courtesy of Rick Dillingham, source Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery by Rick Dillingham.

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