Zia Pueblo Large Polychrome Figural Jar [SOLD]

C4091J-pot.jpg

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Marcellus and Elizabeth Medina
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Zia Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigments
  • Size: 13” height x 12-¼” diameter
  • Item # C4091J
  • SOLD

Marcellus and Elizabeth Medina are a married couple.  Elizabeth was originally from Jemez Pueblo, daughter of Mary S. Toya.  Marcellus is from Zia Pueblo, son of Sofia Medina. After their marriage in 1978, they made their home at Zia Pueblo, where they still reside and work.

Elizabeth’s teacher was Sofia Medina, her new mother-in-law. Because she has been at Zia Pueblo and has made pottery in the Zia style most of her adult life, she is referenced as a Zia potter and most properly so.  Marcella paints his wife’s pottery and does watercolor paintings. His specialty is using acrylic paints to paint figures on his wife’s traditional pottery, however, on this jar, he used traditional Zia mineral and vegetal paints.

The main designs chosen by Marcellus are three Pueblo dancers—a male Harvest Dancer, a male Buffalo Dancer, and a female Butterfly Dancer.  In a rainbow arch around the dancers, Marcellus painted many butterflies. Above the butterfly band, he reverted to traditional Zia geometric designs.  In a band around the neck there are three traditional Zia Birds.

Marcellus is an accomplished painter of people and the three images on this jar attest to that.  Each was rendered in the most intricate detail, a feat made more difficult when painting on a curved ceramic surface rather than on paper or canvas.  Each butterfly shows different and specific details in line, texture and color.

Marcellus and Elizabeth Medina signaturesJust below the double framing lines near the base, the names of the artists and the date are painted as ‘06 Marcellus · Elizabeth · Medina.


Condition:  a minor chip on the interior of the rim has been professionally restored, otherwise the jar is in excellent condition.

Provenance:  this Zia Pueblo Large Polychrome Figural Jar is from from the estate of Santa Fe dealer and collector Marti Struever

Reference and Recommended Reading: Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf

Close up view of side panel designs.


Marcellus and Elizabeth Medina
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Zia Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigments
  • Size: 13” height x 12-¼” diameter
  • Item # C4091J
  • SOLD

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