Railroad Era Pottery: The Tourist Trade Comes to Isleta Pueblo
From the collection of Albert Alvidrez
November 4, 2017 – February 24, 2018
The establishment of the first of the famous Harvey Houses along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad in 1876 opened the American Southwest to a level of tourism that had never been seen before in the region. Fred Harvey was an innovative restaurateur and marketer who is not only credited with creating the first restaurant chain in the United States, but was also a leader in promoting tourism in the American Southwest in the late 19th century until around 1920. He further boosted tourism for the Native American Peoples through his organization of excursions to the native villages, creating demand for pottery and other commodities. New contacts established during this period had a clear effect on indigenous material culture that would help to shape native identities through pottery into the modern period.
This exhibit is brought to you from the collection of Albert Alvidrez, the former governor of the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and an avid collector of Railroad Era Pottery. A skilled potter himself, Mr. Alvidrez has been building his collection over the last 25 years. Join us for a unique look at the transition of Pueblo pottery from utilitarian pieces to pottery that was created for strictly artistic ends.