ASPEN RIDGE News:
SANTA FE ― Francis H. Harlow (1928-Present) is widely regarded as a leading authority on Pueblo Indian pottery, a field of study he pursued after moving to New Mexico to work as a physicist.
In this memoir, Harlow describes his life growing up in Washington state, service in the US Army during World War II, college years, and his 50-year career as a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. It was his move to the southwest that provided the impetus for his study of Pueblo history and pottery.
His contributions to the field of fluid dynamics have been no less remarkable. Harlow’s scientific and scholarly pursuits were augmented by his artistic talent as a painter, a skill he applied to his work in pottery and science.
Harlow’s interest in native cultures and ceramics began with fossils he encountered at Jemez Springs and Nambé Falls. For 40 years he classified and dated pottery, including fragments he found.
Through his knowledge of individual pueblo styles and periods he was often able to identify in museums and private collections pottery makers that were previously unnamed.
Over the years Harlow met and interacted with many living Pueblo artists including the famous San Ildefonso potter Maria Martinez. Harlow amassed a remarkable collection of Pueblo Indian pottery, which is now in the permanent collection at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe. Harlow’s myriad scientific and artistic contributions are evidence that he is truly a renaissance man for our times.