ELMER GATES (1929–1990)
MOJAVE RED ON BUFF DOLL circa 1970
Most observers would agree that Elmer Gates was the last celebrated Mojave potter, although Betty Barrackman was active on and off in the years after he died. Elmer and Annie Fields were certainly the most prolific, and he, Annie and Betty are the only ones who reached any level of celebrity. Elmer lived on a joint reservation near Parker, Arizona, away from the main Mojave population center at Needles, California, and made pottery that diverged a bit from the usual Mojave ware—better finished, not the usual coarse Needles clay and kiln-fired. This is one of the best Elmer Gates dolls we've ever seen, and one of the few females. He put his signature on the soles of her feet instead of hiding it under her skirt as he usually did. You can see this in two of our books: on page 143 of our The Desert Southwest, Four Thousand Years of Life and Art and on page 57 of our Pottery of the Southwest.
3-1/4" wide x 4-1/2" deep x 5-7/8" high