Very Large Black-on-black San Ildefonso Pueblo Pottery Plate signed Marie and Santana


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Maria Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter

Artists' signature of Marie and Santana Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo

Early in the museum's history, Maria's husband Julian Martinez was a janitor at the Museum of New Mexico for quite a few years. It was there that Julian most likely saw the Mimbres bowl in the museum's collection that was decorated with eagle feathers, and while Julian may have been working as a janitor, his mind was working as an artist.

Sometime in the 1930s, Julian adapted the Mimbres feather design to fit the plates and shallow bowls that Maria was making. The design became a favorite of his for years. After Julian passed away in 1943, Maria's daughter-in-law Santana took over the task of painting Maria's pottery, and she also used the Mimbres feather design as shown on this plate.

This is an enormous San Ildefonso Pueblo pottery plate by Maria Martinez, measuring over 14 inches in diameter. There are 48 feathers and three encircling lines near the rim. Each circle was painted freehand using a yucca leaf paint brush. The same process was used for outlining the feathers. It takes a steady hand to paint in that fashion and Santana was very good at doing so.

Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo is probably the most famous of all pueblo potters. She and her husband, Julian, discovered in 1918 how to produce the now-famous black-on-black pottery and they spent the remainder of their careers perfecting and producing it for museums and collectors worldwide.

Condition: this Very Large Black-on-black San Ildefonso Pueblo Pottery Plate by Marie and Santana is structurally in excellent condition but there are scratches in the center of the plate and some abrasions near the outer edge.

Provenance: from the estate of a client in Louisiana who purchased it from Adobe Gallery in 1998.

Reference and Recommended ReadingThe Legacy of Maria Poveka Martinez by Richard Spivey

TAGS: Julian MartinezMimbres, MariapotterySantanaSouthwest Indian Pottery, San Ildefonso Pueblo, Contemporary Pottery

Maria Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter
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