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Oversize Jar with Fine Line Design by Acoma Matriarch Lucy Lewis [SOLD]


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Lucy Martin Lewis (c.1898-1992)
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Acoma Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 6-3/4” height x 9-3/4” diameter
  • Item # C4026A
  • SOLD

Special Value Offer: We have been authorized to offer this at a 42% reduction from $6500 to $3750.

Lucy Martin Lewis (1898-1992) artist image - Adobe GalleryAt the time that this jar was purchased in 1985 from a gallery in New York City, Lucy Lewis and her daughters were present at the exhibit.  The purchasers visited with Lucy and her daughters and had them in their home for dinner.  According to the family making the purchase, Lucy stated that this would be the last pot she would make, as she no longer felt she could continue making pottery.  It certainly could have been the last of the larger jars made by Lucy as she was 87 years old at that time.

Some potters at Acoma began purchasing greenware (mold cast) jars and bowls and painting them at home, then firing them in commercial kilns.  Not Lucy, however.  She continued throughout her life making pottery in the traditional way: digging and preparing clay, grinding potsherds for temper, coiling the clay into a vessel shape, making her paints from plant and mineral elements, and firing the finished vessels in an open outdoor handmade kiln.

This jar has the amazingly complicated fine-line pattern that must be one of the most difficult patterns to layout and paint.  It is surprising that potters can follow such a complicated design without making many mistakes.  There are horizontal lines, vertical lines, slanting lines, snowflake patterns, and triangle shapes—put all together, they make a beautiful and complicated work of art.

Lucy Martin Lewis (1898-1992) signature

Condition:  The Oversize Jar with Fine Line Design by Acoma Matriarch Lucy Lewis seems to have a slip crack, determined by thumping the jar and getting a thud sound rather than a ring sound.  Examination by UV light does not reveal any repairs.  There is no visible sign of a crack on the interior, so it must be a very thin crack that has not been repaired.

Provenance: from the collection of a family from New York who purchased it in 1985 at a New York gallery when the artist was there for an exhibition.

Recommended Reading:  Lucy M. Lewis: American Indian Potter by Susan Peterson

Lucy Lewis (1898-1992) Acoma Pueblo - image Adobe Gallery

Close up view of fine line design.