Author Archives: King Galleries

“Revival Rising” Ohkay Owingeh Pottery 1930s-60s

“Revival Rising” Ohkay Owingeh Pottery This show features Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo (formerly San Juan Pueblo) pottery from 1930s-1960s.  Charles King has collected the pottery for this show for more than a decade. Why so long? Many of these potters were not very prolific.  Also, finding pieces which were not damaged over nearly 70 years has […]

FEMINISIM IN CLAY: Ceramic Art by Native American Woman

To some, ceramic art produced by Native Americans, particularly women, is simply craft.  It doesn’t help that the entire output of these artists is referred to by the generic term pottery.  Of course, skill and craft are involved in the creation of a ceramic work, but many pieces are rightly considered art.  The discussion of […]

“The Space Between”: Santa Clara Carved Pottery 1920-Present

From 1922-4, Sarafina Tafoya (1863-1949) created a series of “carved” vessels. These were among the first to incorporate a style of animal figurative designs and denoted the first step to a carved style which would become part of the Pueblo’s artistic lexicon in the 1930s.  The idea of “space” can be viewed as the clay […]

AMERICA’S FIRST REVOLUTION: Jason Garcia’s Tewa Tales of Suspense! Series

Early in 2016, Jason Garcia E-mailed me, writing that he was in the process of beginning a series of prints about the 1680 Pueblo Revolt and asked if I would be interested in acquiring each work as he created it.  This was certainly an ambitious undertaking and, at the time, it was not clear how […]

The Search For Juanita Montoya Vigil (1898-1933)

In the early years of San Ildefonso signed pottery, there are three individual potters of the same name who were all active at the same time: Juanita Gonzales (1909-1988), Juanita Pena (1900-1987) and Juanita Vigil (1898-1933). However, over the years, there has been a continual mix-up and misidentification of their work. They all simply signed […]

“Born of Fire: The Pottery of Margaret Tafoya”

Born of Fire: The Life and Pottery of Margaret Tafoya Born of Fire The Life and Pottery of Margaret Tafoya, is a name that brings to mind a woman known for her strong will, stoicism, and traditional pottery. For her, respect and honor were earned through a lifetime of hard work, perseverance, and dedication. Small in stature, […]

Peering Through Taos Light: Susan Folwell & Jody Folwell

Peering Though Taos Light:  Reflections in Clay of the Taos Society of Artists Through the Pottery of Susan Folwell and Jody Folwell The idea for the show is founded in the classic paintings of the Taos Society of Artists which formed in 1915 and disbanded in 1927.  These painters were attracted to Taos, the light, […]

Art Cody Haungooh: A “Reflected Light” in Pueblo Pottery

Art Cody Haungooah (1943-1985) is remembered for his innovative take on traditional Pueblo pottery.  Since the height of his fame in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, his name, unique design style and early passing has given him a certain enigmatic quality.  For those who remember, he began making pottery at a time when his […]

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: On Visiting the Hopi Mesas

Each time I have traveled to the Hopi Mesas I have been struck by the hospitality and generosity of the people.  However, too often the mainstream press has portrayed the Hopi as rigid and unwelcoming whenever they have closed their lands to outsiders.  Usually omitted, though, is the fact that the actions of the Hopi […]

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

    Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past How does Pueblo pottery best embrace its traditions and historic past as it enters the new era of modern ceramic influences? This question, certainly more relevant today than the old trope of “what is traditional pottery,” underscores the future directions and impact of this important Native art form.  This […]

Signed, “Serafina”: The Signed Pottery of SaraFina Tafoya

Sarafina Tafoya (1863-1949), Santa Clara Matriarch Understanding the signed pottery of SaraFina Tafoya from 1933 to 1949 by Charles S. King   Sara Fina Tafoya (1863-1949) is among the most renown of the early Santa Clara potters. She was the matriarch of a dynasty of potters, included among her children were Camilio Tafoya, Margaret Tafoya, and Christina […]

Defining Diego Romero: Examining his Imagery and Iconography

Defining Diego Romero’s Imagery: For the past twenty years Diego Romero has been making art that transcends his Native American Indian heritage. While using the “traditional” materials, techniques and forms of Southwestern Indian pottery he uses comic book inspired iconography to chronicle Native life. As a student at the Institute of American Indian Art in […]

BACK TO THE FUTURE: IAIA Student Artists of Note – Part 2

As a former teacher, I tend to view all educational institutions with a critical eye and, it would be fair to say that, it takes a great deal to impress me.  It seems that there is often so much cant where education is concerned.  However, a school that clearly fosters learning, artistic talent and a […]

BACK TO THE FUTURE: IAIA Student Artists of Note – Part 1

          Sometimes in order to go forward it is necessary to go backward.  This is especially true for artists who, for inspiration, often turn to earlier artistic forms, such as ledger art, or to a time in life that was particularly painful or fraught with struggles.  In addition, contemporary Native American […]

SMOKE SCREENS: The Uneasy Relationship Between Native Americans and the Movies

For well over a century, images of Native Americans have been flashed across movie screens worldwide.  The tales of “wild Indians” and “noble savages” that audiences devoured as emblematic of the American West were illusions on more than one level.  For the most part, the stories have been fictitious but, even when based on fact, […]

PAPER TIGERS: Another Look at Native American Works on Paper

In the minds of many, Native American artists are inexorably linked with what has come to be known as the “traditional arts” – pottery, baskets, beadwork and such.  However, while many contemporary Native artists still work in these media, more often than not, they execute their art in decidedly modernist ways.  Other contemporary Native artists […]

A PETROGLYPH PRIMER: Deer Valley Rock Art Center

When most people think of Native American art I doubt petroglyphs or other forms of rock art come to mind.  However, these ancient markings are important to understanding much of the Native art that followed, including that produced in the contemporary era.  Rock art is mysterious, mystical and mesmerizing.  What makes it so fascinating is […]

On Fire! 5 Reasons to Visit the Rockwell Musuem’s New Pottery Exhibit

The Rockwell Museum in Corning, NY seems a bit of an out of the way place to find some amazing Pueblo and Tribal pottery.  However, their new exhibition, “On Fire!“, which features primarily pieces from the Cameros Collection, has some breathtaking pieces.  The original installation and collection was documented in the book, “Crafted to Perfection”. […]

ADVENTURES IN COLLECTING: Facing the Challenges of Acquisition

Acquiring art for my collection has been an enjoyable process, except for figuring out how to pay for it.  Usually, that has been solved with payment plans.  In almost thirty years of collecting I’ve purchased pieces for my collection from shops, galleries, trading posts and directly from artists.  Often, art was collected while traveling and, […]

Tina Diaz & Linda Cain – The Unassuming Innovators

Tina Diaz (b.1946) and her sister Linda Cain (b. 1949) are two of the seven children of potter Mary Cain (1915-2010).  They are granddaughters of Christina Naranjo (1891-1980) and great-nieces of Margaret Tafoya (1904-2001).  Such a distinguished family linage would make one think they would be bound to more traditional pottery shapes, designs and imagery. However, for over 30 years they have been among […]

NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T: Collecting and Provenance

          Whenever I lecture about Native art I always explain that as a collector sometimes one is given a great deal of information, sometimes just a little, sometimes none and, in some cases, misinformation.  As a beginning collector, I was so delighted to acquire a piece I liked that it never really […]

RE-SEEING THE WEST: Collecting Ledger Drawings

February, 2014 The American West is instantly recognizable to people around the world because, for generations, it has been portrayed in countless works of art.  Paintings, novels, plays, operas and, most recently, movies and TV have presented it as a wild and violent place.  However, over the last century the West has been seen through […]