Black-on-Black Jar

Maria Martínez Native American, San Ildefonso Pueblo
Julián Martínez San Ildefonso

Not on view

The Tewa married couple, Maria and Julian Martinez, of the San Ildefonso Pueblo in present-day New Mexico, are among the most widely recognized twentieth-century potters. Maria established a national reputation doing pottery demonstrations in collaboration with her husband at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, held in San Diego. Partially inspired by archaeological discoveries of black-on-black shards in the Pajarito Plateau region, the Martinezes led a revival of ancient as well as new pottery styles and iconographies among Pueblo artists. Between 1917 and 1943 Maria shaped the pots, and Julian painted the designs, while together they harvested the clay and fired the pottery, using centuries-old traditions. On this particular jar, the culmination of ten years of experimentation with firings and materials, Julian used a mixture of clay and beeweed to represent Avanyu, a Tewa deity and guardian of water.

Black-on-Black Jar, Maria Martínez (Native American, San Ildefonso Pueblo, Santa Fe, New Mexico 1887–1980  San Ildefonso Pueblo, Santa Fe New Mexico), Clay and slip, San Ildefonso, Native American

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