PAM LUJAN HAUER (circa 1955– )
TAOS POLYCHROME JAR 1992
This little jar, which shows pretty close to actual size on our screen, merits our "special interest" green dot mostly because of who made it. There are important artists at Taos (Bernadette Track, Glenn Gomez and others), but none surpass Pam Hauer for achievement. The fine painting and unusual slip colors on this piece give a taste of her skills, but don't suggest the breadth of her talent. In the years since she left the Institute of American Indian Art in the mid-1970s, she's made tiny pieces (there's a 3/4" diameter olla on page 203 of the Second Edition of our Southwestern Pottery, Anasazi to Zuni), pieces as big as 12" diameter plates, animal sculptures, pottery earrings with silver inlays and in general has created pieces in a dazzling range of totally original shapes and colors. Over the years, she's taught at UNM, received a SWAIA Fellowship and served on the Board of Directors of IACA. Those credentials alone make her one of the most important Native American artists. We showed this on page 177 of the Second Edition of Southwestern Pottery, on page 153 of the First Edition and on page 51 of our Pottery of the Southwest.
The bottom of this piece tells us something about Pam's affinity for the tiny. You can't see it in the little picture, and we couldn't see it until we made a high-resolution scan and blew it up to four times its actual size. She originally signed this Pam Lujan Taos in a flowing impressed script, but once the piece was fired, she apparently decided her signature was too faint to read. She wrote over it in pencil, P. LUJAN TAOS, in letters so tiny a mouse might have trouble reading it. Anyone who buys this should get out a high-powered jeweler's loupe and enjoy her signature rethink.
2-3/4" diameter x 1-7/8" high