- Collection ID:
The majority of the materials and notes are written in
, but some of the published materials and flyers are written in
- Physical Description:
The Gertrude Litto Collection, located in the Cultural Resource Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, contains the manuscript, notes and images for her book South American Folk Pottery. Her manuscript, notes and photos record the methods and products of Native potters in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection is comprised of the papers and images gathered and created by Litto during her travels through South America in 1971-1972 and her subsequent manuscript for her book, South American Folk Pottery. It includes thousands of photographic materials (roughly 7.5 linear feet) including black and white prints, slides, and negatives, the images in this collection include both those published in her book, as well as unpublished material. The collection also includes travel materials, maps, letters, field notes from South America and the manuscript for the book.
The manuscript for South American Folk Pottery was arranged in order as it appeared in the published book. The field notes for the book were arranged by country as they appear in the book. The majority of Litto's field notes and correspondence came in binders and were kept in original order when possible. Other materials such as flyers and travel materials were loose and arranged by subject.
The photograph collection is currently organized first by material type (prints, negatives, slides), then by locale. The materials were originally received in non-archival binders and folders that were stored in five record center boxes. The materials have since been re-housed with archivally sound materials such as pH neutral folders and mylar. Original order was maintained whenever possible.
The Gertrude Litto Collection is arranged in three series:
Series 1: South American Folk Pottery Manuscript (ca. 1970s), contains the manuscript and photos for Litto's book.
Series 2: Field Notes (1958-1980, bulk 1970-1972), contains field notes, personal letters, maps, flyers on events and art, and tourist information for South American countries.
Series 3: Photographs (ca. 1970s), contains black and white prints, slides and negatives.
Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Gertrude "Trudy" Litto was born in 1929. She received her B.A.F. in painting and illustration at Syracuse University, afterwards Litto continued her studies in pottery and art education and in 1967 received her M.A. She is married Frank Litto and has three sons, Claude, Leo and Corbin. Litto worked as an elementary school art teacher in New York before she was granted a sabbatical to travel through South America.
In 1971-72, Litto traveled through Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile to study the methods and products of contemporary Native potters. Accompanied by her husband and sons, Litto recorded the styles and techniques of sixty different pottery-making communities in South America. This information was compiled into Litto's 1976 book entitled, South American Folk Pottery. Photographs taken on location were captured by the Litto family, while those shot in a studio are credited to Robert Emerson Willis. Through photographic images, this collection documents the blended and changing styles of South American pottery.
Photographs, negatives and slides processed by Emily Moazami, in 2006, and manuscript and papers processed by Cara Bertram, intern in 2011.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
In Spring of 2004, Gertrude Litto donated her research materials to the National Museum of the American Indian.
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Conditions Governing Use
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to email@example.com.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Gertrude Litto Collection, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
National Museum of the American Indian
4220 Silver Hill Rd