Ruth Gast Santos and Southwest Collection

The Ruth Gast Santos and Southwest Collection consists of a small but significant collection of historic and contemporary bultos, retablos and crucifixes as well as Native American arts from the Southwest United States.  The santos collection consists of examples from Rafael Aragon of Cordova, N.M., the most popular and prolific santero of the first half of the 19th century.  Other historic examples are attributed to the anonymous “Quill Pen Santero” and “Arroyo Hondo Santero.”   Contemporary examples include Nicholas Herrera’s colorful Senora de Guadalupe. 

The bulk of this collection was donated by Pueblo resident and collector Ruth Gast and donated to the Arts Center in 1995.  Additional pieces have since been added including an excellent crucifix by Juan Miguel Herrera. Our Southwest collection of Native American art and artifacts includes a Maria Martinez pot, a beautiful collection of native basketry, Navajo rugs and a beaded vest.