Very Large Black-on-black Plate signed Marie & Santana

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Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter

Artist Signatures: Santana Martinez AND Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez (1887-1980) Pond LilyMaria’s husband Julian Martinez was a janitor at the Museum of New Mexico for a dozen or so years early in the museum’s history.  It was there that Julian most likely saw the Mimbres bowl in the museum’s collection that was decorated with eagle feathers.  Julian may have been working as a janitor but his mind was working as an artist.

 

At some time 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 took over the task of painting Maria’s pottery and Santana also used the Mimbres feather design as shown on this plate.

 

This is an enormous plate, measuring over 14 inches’ 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.

 

Condition: structurally in excellent condition but there are scratches in the center of the plate and some abrasions near the outer edge.

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

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

Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez (1887-1980) Pond Lily

 

 

Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter
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