Storyteller figures by deceased potter Mary Francis Herrera are rarely seen. When they are found, they are usually her miniatures. So this larger and wonderful Singing Mother by Mary Francis is rare indeed. Furthermore, she is nursing her infant who is wrapped in a blanket, adding warmth and rarity to this wonderful item. I have never seen one of these, but Ada Suina told me that she remembers one or two potters depicting nursing mothers occasionally. They were, according to Ada, usually made for a new Cochiti mother.
The mother figure is wearing a dotted dress and a necklace. The lovely and creamy Cochiti white slip predominates making this figure feel particularly light and we can imagine her at this very personal moment, totally engrossed in her love for her baby and at least momentarily, free from cares. Mary died in 1990 and was creating figures soon after Helen Cordero’s first storyteller in 1964. A good guess might be 1970 or for this piece.
Provenance: The Collection of Rutt Bridges
Condition is excellent, original and unrestored.