Santa Clara Pueblo Wedding Vase by Legoria Tofoya


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Legoria Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

Artist signature of  Legoria Tafoya (1911-1984) Santa Clara PuebloThis carved black pottery wedding vase was made by Legoria Tafoya of Santa Clara Pueblo. Legoria was a gifted potter who worked most frequently in the traditional carved styles. She created a variety of forms and was notably known for smaller figures and vessels. This is one of the largest of her pieces we have seen.

With this piece, Legoria offered a traditional Tewa wedding vase. It is stylish and beautiful. It is a foot tall, with a globular lower chamber and a pair of spouts that gracefully spread outward but are restrained by a twisted arched handle.  This vessel is signed on the bottom with her first name name and Santa Cla Pueblo.

Legoria made this wedding vase as one of a pair, both of which are identical in size and shape. She varied the design on the body. On this one she carved the outline of a traditional Avanyu water serpent. The matching wedding vase is our item #C4812B, which has a modernist carved design.

Legoria Tafoya (1911-1984), painter Pablita Velarde, and potter Jane Baca were sisters. Legoria was the oldest and Pablita the youngest. Legoria devoted her career to making traditional black pottery in the Santa Clara Pueblo style, as did Baca. They were taught the art of pottery making by their grandmother in the 1930s. Legoria's early works were mostly animal figurines, which came to be extremely popular with tourists. She went on to become a celebrated potter, winning many awards and placing works in prominent collections. All three sisters exhibited at Enchanted Mesa Gallery in Albuquerque, which was owned by Fred and Margarete Chase.

Condition: good condition with minor scratches or abrasions

Provenance: this Santa Clara Pueblo Wedding Vase by Legoria Tofoya is from the estate of an Albuquerque family

Reference: Pueblo Indian Pottery: 750 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf

TAGS: Pablita VelardepotteryAlbuquerquefigurinesSanta Clara PuebloSanta FeLegoria Tafoya

Alternate view of this black wedding vase.

Legoria Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
C4812A-wedding.jpgC4812A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.