The Dr. Samuel R. Poliakoff Collection of Western Art
at the Abbeville County Library System, Abbeville, SC
Bear Figurine (#53)
Figurative pottery has a long history. Animalitos, or small animals, began to be made in larger numbers in response to the expanding tourist market in the 1930s. Touring cars from Santa Fe would visit the Pueblo unloading ready buyers. Children were often sent to make the sales –both because they were irresistible salespeople and often, as a result of their schooling, as the only English-speaking family member. The small animal souvenirs sold for a dime, quarter or perhaps fifty cents.
As the pottery market began to expand in the 1970s potters like Pula Gutierrez revitalized the making of animals, increasing their size and complexity. The animated quality of Gutierrez’s work has long appealed to buyers, helping to evolve a beloved pottery form.
Copyright 2014, Abbeville County Library System. - Credits