Gregorita Trujillo

San Juan Pueblo/Ohkay Owingeh

Born in 1902, Gregorita Trujillo was a traditional/contemporary potter from San Juan Pueblo. She was not one of the original eight women who worked to restart San Juan potttery-making in the early 1930s but by 1940 she had become an important figure in the San Juan pottery world.

Artists both, Gregorita and her husband Juan (a skilled weaver) raised their son Manuel in a household full of Puebloan art. Manuel grew into a really good painter and often contributed designs and painting to Gregorita's pieces.

Back in those days, Gregorita could often be found under the portal at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, selling her wares to tourists and collectors. She also sold pieces through the mercantile at San Juan Pueblo. Gregorita was also a participant in the Santa Fe Indian Market for years.

She was a gifted teacher and mentor, working with different artists as the San Juan pottery revival got under way. She traveled the country, sharing her knowledge with collectors and other artists. She also participated in several of the Folk Life fairs held in Washington, DC, in the 1970s. In 1974, she represented San Juan Pueblo in a delegation of 32 Pueblo artists who met with First Lady Pat Nixon and President Richard Nixon at the White House.

Gregorita passed on in 1991.

Rare among potters in the Rio Grande Pueblos, she liked to depict dancers and katsinas on the unpolished sides of her jars.

Eagle dancer design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar with eagle dancer design
8 in H by 6.5 in Dia
Lightly carved kiva step, rising sun, clouds, lightning bolt and geometric design on a red jar
Red jar decorated with lightly carved kiva step, clouds, lightning bolt, rising sun and geometric design
5 in H by 7.25 in Dia

San Juan Pueblo Potters