Albert C. Bates Collection

The Bates Collection is made up of Southwestern native pots originally from New Mexico. The first holder of the collection was Andrew S. Fuller of New Jersey. Fuller obtained the pots from a ranch in New Mexico in 1880. Fuller sold some of these pots to another New Jersey man named Henry Hales in 1889. In 1892 the two of them then sold their collections to James Terry, a Connecticut native who at the time was living in New York City where he was the head of the American Museum of Natural History’s Anthropology Department. After leaving his post in 1894 Terry - a long-time member of the Connecticut Historical Society – returned to Hartford where he worked as an antiques collector and salesman. Following Terry’s death in 1915, the collection was purchased from his estate by fellow Connecticut Historical Society member Albert C. Bates. After obtaining the collection, Bates displayed it in the Wadsworth Athenaeum for some time. By 1942 Bates had agreed to loan the collection to the Connecticut State Library in order to clear room on the condition that it would be returned to the Historical Society if they could acquire a new building. Bates died in 1954 and the collection stayed with the library until 1996, when it was transferred to the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History.
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