Helen Richter Watson (1926-2003)
As a child, Helen Richter Watson playfully harvested mud from the banks of the Rio Grande, footsteps from her home. The mud would be carefully molded into clay pots of transitory beauty, connecting Helen with her environment and forging a link that nurtured one of the nation’s most highly regarded ceramics artists and educators.
Helen was the daughter of Helen Richter and Horace Watson. The Richter family was prolific in Laredo’s business and artistic heritage. Horace Watson, Helen’s father, was from New York and a Calvary officer stationed at Fort Macintosh when he and Helen Richter met.
The child who played with clay would go on to earn her BA at California's Scripps College and her MFA at Claremont Graduate School. In addition to serving on the faculty at Chaffey College and Mount San Antonio College, she was Chair of the Ceramics Department at the famed Otis Art Institute from 1958-1979.
She exhibited and lectured nationally and won a prestigious fellowship from the Swedish government to conduct research there. Her commissioned works dot the country, with several finding homes in Laredo businesses, churches and private collections.
Affectionately known as “Whitie,” Helen Richter Watson maintained the August C. Richter family home on Houston Street with a studio she designed, returning throughout her storied career until her retirement here.
A dedicated educator, she firmly believed that with determination, all students wishing to pursue a career in the arts could accomplish their dreams and make a contribution to the art world.
First Floor, the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library
Hours of Operation
By appointment between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
For appointment or to coordinate large
group visits, please call 956.326.4483