Perhaps the best-known Tewa ceramist, Maria Martinez worked with her husband, Julian, who decorated the pots she had formed and polished, until his death in 1943. Together they are credited with reviving pottery making in the pueblo of San Ildefonso and with developing the modern version of black-on-black ceramics for which Pueblo pottery is known. The decorative band around the body of the jar is a motif that Julian Martinez frequently used: it is in the form of an avanyu, a Tewa deity that protects water and is represented as a plumed or horned serpent.
Maria Montoya Martinez
(San Ildefonso Pueblo [Tewa], 1887–1980)
and Julian Martinez
(San Ildefonso Pueblo [Tewa], 1979–1943)
H. 14 3/8 in. (36.5 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Rudolf Gottfried, 83.35.1