Small Octagonal Jar by Margaret and Luther Gutierrez


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Margaret and Luther Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo Potters

Harmony Unearthed: Margaret and Luther Gutierrez's Polychrome Masterpiece

This remarkable octagonal pottery jar, lovingly crafted by the skilled hands of Margaret and Luther Gutierrez, beckons us into a world where tradition dances with innovation. Let us explore the intricacies that make this piece truly exceptional:

  1. Polychrome Brilliance:
    • The jar's surface, adorned with a polychrome design, exudes both elegance and curiosity. Over a warm beige slip, a symphony of colors unfolds—a visual feast for the senses.
    • Four distinct images grace the jar, each thoughtfully repeated twice around its circumference. These images are more than mere motifs; they are portals to stories, memories, and cultural heritage.
  2. A Palette of Significance:
    • The Gutierrez family's signature lies in their unique color palette. Here, earthy tones blend seamlessly with vibrant hues, creating a harmonious balance.
    • Let's delve into the imagery:
      • The Turtle: Nestled between two traditional Pueblo design patterns, the turtle symbolizes longevity, wisdom, and connection to the land. Its shell carries the weight of generations.
      • The Buffalo Dancer: With arrows in hand, this dancer embodies strength, resilience, and the spirit of celebration. The rhythmic beat of drums echoes through time.
      • The Avanyu: Coiled and majestic, the avanyu breathes out lightning—a guardian of water, a protector of life. Its sinuous form weaves tales of ancient rivers.
      • The Rain Cloud Bird: Inverted rain clouds adorn the bird's back, a celestial messenger bridging sky and earth. Its wings carry whispers of monsoons and renewal.
  3. Symmetry and Reflection:
    • The identically sized spaces frame these evocative designs, inviting contemplation. As the jar turns, so does our perspective. Each rotation reveals a new chapter, a fresh connection.
    • Imagine holding this vessel, turning it in your hands, and witnessing the interplay of form and meaning. The journey is both personal and communal.
  4. Modest Size, Profound Impact:
    • Despite its unassuming dimensions, this jar radiates significance. At approximately eighteen inches in height, it bridges the gap between practicality and artistry.
    • Whether you're an avid collector or a novice, this piece promises an excellent beginning—a glimpse into the soul of pueblo pottery.

In summary, Margaret and Luther Gutierrez's creation transcends time, inviting us to celebrate culture, honor tradition, and find solace in the beauty of their craft.

Artists’ signature of Margaret Gutierrez (1936-2018) and Luther Gutierrez (1911-1987) Santa Clara PuebloThe bottom of the jar is signed Margaret / Luther.  Margaret (1936-2018) and Luther (1911-1987) Gutierrez were the children of potters Lela and Van Gutierrez. Lela and Van developed one of the most distinctive and recognizable styles of pueblo pottery. Their use of multicolored pigments to decorate pottery is unique. Margaret and her brother Luther continued painting in this style, and began to create animals and small whimsical figurines. The duo received many notable awards for their work. After Luther passed away, Margaret carried on the tradition on her own.

Condition: excellent condition with minor soiling on the interior

Provenance: this Small Octagonal Jar by Margaret and Luther Gutierrez is from a private collection of a client of the gallery

Recommended Reading: Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery by Rick Dillingham

TAGS: Lela and Van GutierrezSanta Clara PuebloPottery FigurinesSouthwest Indian PotteryMargaret and Luther Gutierrez

Alternate view of this pottery jar.

Margaret and Luther Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo Potters
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