Belling collection on display in DL library
Helen Belling began collecting American Art pottery in the 1960s while living in Iowa. Pieces of her pottery collection are on display at the Detroit Lakes through Oct. 31.
After retiring back to Detroit Lakes in 1969, she continued to collect, show and sell these colorful pieces of Americana around the area. She acquired knowledge and a sharp eye for the different companies and enjoyed talking about their history, which ranges from the mid-1800s to the present.
Each company, each piece, reflects pride in a family pottery business.
The Jamieson family (green leaf pattern was typical) were cousins of Helen's who moved to California during The Depression and started a pottery company in Capistrano. Lovely Rosemeade comes from Wahpeton.
The North Dakota School of Mines made distinct works in Grand Forks starting in 1912. The Red Wing Company still thrives in southeast Minnesota. Frankoma -- Frank, the family name, plus "oma" -- comes from Oklahoma.
Helen grew up on her family farm in Drayton, N.D. On the old piano stood a cheerful pottery vase. Her mother, Annabelle Van Camp, played while the family sang gospel and popular songs. Who knows what other scenes all these vintage pieces have seen.
Helen was active in Friends of the Library in Detroit Lakes, and helped strat the annual Arts in the Park. It was hoped she could help put this pottery show together, but on July 31, 2012, she passed away just before her 97th birthday.