Monica Silva Santo Domingo Pueblo Polychrome Wedding Vase [SOLD]


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Monica Silva, Santo Domingo Pueblo Potter

This wedding vase was made by Monica Silva of Santo Domingo Pueblo. It’s a fine example of this distinctive traditional form. Strong designs appear over the cream-slipped exterior, repeating on opposite sides in bold black with touches of red. These are traditional designs executed in a manner that one might describe as “dramatic”—they feel particularly intense and animated despite using ancestral pueblo motifs.

The form of the vessel itself is similarly expressive. Its gentle, circular curves feel smooth and natural, forming a base with an appealing globular shape. The two spouts have long, open mouths, revealing red interior painting which matches that of the base. The bold black pigment appears again up above the primary designs, framing each mouth and covering entirely the arch in between. It is apparent that Silva was enjoying herself and expressing her talents at a high level during the creation of this wonderful piece.

The wedding vase is not signed with the name of the artist; however, it was identified and attributed by Angie Reano Owen, daughter-in-law of Monica Silva.

Artist Monica Silva (c.1900 - c.1980) is recognized as one of the best of the early 20th century potters at Santo Domingo Pueblo. She was active in the 1920s to 1940s. Her work is very recognizable; for example, her dough bowls have a very distinctive shape. They have high shoulders that roll inward about an inch and end in a short neck. Her designs are very bold and executed in strong black guaco paint. Silva was born around 1900 and raised at Santa Clara Pueblo. She lived there until she married Santiago Lovato of Santo Domingo Pueblo and moved to his pueblo. She taught and popularized blackware pottery at Santo Domingo and learned to make traditional Santo Domingo pottery. She stayed at Santo Domingo for the remainder of her life.

What is the Purpose of a Wedding Vase?

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Monica Silva Santo Domingo Pueblo Polychrome Wedding Vase is from a private New York collection

Recommended Reading: Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf

TAGS: Santo Domingo PuebloSanta Clara PuebloPueblo PotteryMonica Silva, Santo Domingo Pueblo Potter

Alternate view of this wedding vase and top of the handle.

Monica Silva, Santo Domingo Pueblo Potter
C4611A-wedding.jpgC4611A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.