Recognized by Arts and Antiques Magazine as one of the finest private collections of Native American pottery and glass art, the Nancy and Alan Cameros Collection of Southwest Pottery consists of more than 200 pieces crafted over a period of 125 years. The collection traces its roots to Nancy and Alan Cameros’ visit to New Mexico more than a quarter of a century ago when the seasoned art patrons first encountered the unique confluence of cultures in northern New Mexico. Although Native American tribes on the East Coast and in Mexico also boast long traditions in pottery, the Cameros Collection focuses on pieces from the area of New Mexico that stretches north to south from Taos to Albuquerque and west into Arizona. During their frequent trips to the American Southwest, Nancy and Alan Cameros acquired Pueblo, Hopi, Hopi-Tewa, and Navajo pieces to expand the breadth of their carefully curated collection.
With pieces from 12 of the 20 pueblos in the region, including the Acoma, Santa Clara, and Zuni, the Cameros Collection showcases the stunning variety and history of pueblo pottery. Artisans from each pueblo have historically sourced local materials for their work, such as the distinctive white clay that characterizes Acoma pottery. Pueblo pottery includes the works of prominent pottery families, whose diverse traditions are passed down across generations.
In 2010, Nancy and Alan Cameros loaned seven pots to the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, where Alan Cameros has served as a trustee for more than 30 years. The MAG selection, which came from the Santa Clara Pueblo, represented the blackware pots made famous by Tafoya family matriarch Sara Fina Tafoya and her descendants, including contemporary potters Nathan and Nancy Youngblood. Today, the Cameros Collection includes commissioned pieces from some of the most renowned potters in the craft, serving as a testament to Nancy and Alan Cameros’ dedication to collecting pottery pieces that represent the best in style, craft, and history.