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1994: 50 Works for 50 Years

Bruce Doyle


Bruce Doyle (1903 – 1983) was a North Dakota native who studied under Margaret Cable, director of the University of North Dakota Ceramics Department. In 1937, Cable led a six-month ceramics course in southwestern South Dakota, spending most of her time at Pine Ridge. That same year Doyle came to head Pine Ridge Pottery at the Pine Ridge High School. During his three years there, Doyle installed two large kilns and taught throwing and molding. His students included three sisters, Ella Irving, Olive Cottier and Bernice Talbot who continued making pottery into the 1980s.

According to the donor, this piece dates to the 1950s, after Doyle settled in Taos, New Mexico.

Marion J. and Lila Nelson donated 258 pieces of pottery produced by Pine Ridge, Sioux and Rushmore Potteries to the South Dakota Art Museum. Marion was a scholar of Scandinavian and American art, who brought particular attention to art potteries of the Midwest. Lila was a weaver, teacher, and active member in the Weavers Guild of Minnesota. The Nelsons also staffed the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, IL, where Marion was director and Lila was the textile curator for over twenty years. Read more about Lila in the 2015 obituary marking her death at 93.

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