Stone Polished Undecorated Jar signed Maria Poveka [SOLD]

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Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter

When Maria Martinez produced plain blackware without having a family member paint on a design, she signed her name as Maria Povéka.  According to Richard Spivey, Maria started signing with the Maria Povéka name in 1956 when she began collaborating with Popovi Da.  This was an attempt to distinguish between pottery she alone completed versus those that were collaborations with Popovi Da. Spivey states that Maria abandoned the Povéka signature in the mid-1960s. After that, all pieces were signed Maria/Popovi whether decorated or not. Spivey 2003

Some of the most beautiful of Maria’s pottery are those she made and left without decorations.  It is the shape of the vessel and the high burnish that capture one’s eyes. They are so smoothly polished that they look like large precious mineral stones.  Because of the high luster, it is difficult to photograph them properly, as they are so reflective. Without some of the visual excess of the painted works, these blackware pieces can be truly appreciated from a more minimal, formalist stance. In this style pottery, proportion, scale, and excellence of polish are key factors.

Based on Richard Spivey’s analysis, this large jar would date between 1956 and 1965.  Maria’s signature is imbedded into the clay.


Condition: this Stone Polished Undecorated Jar signed Maria Poveka is in very good condition

Provenance: descended in the family of Harry Hines Woodring, 25th Governor of Kansas and Secretary of War 1936-1940

Reference: The Legacy of Maria Poveka Martinez by Richard Spivey, Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, 2003

Artist Signature - Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez (1887-1980) Pond Lily