San Ildefonso blackware pottery plate
Maria (1887-1980) and Julian (1879-1943) Martinez
With black-on-black geometric motif, signed to underside, "Marie + Julian."
Diam: 13 5/8 in.
Collection of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Bensalem, Pennsylvania.
Arguably the most renowned and collected Southwest potter of the 20th century, Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez, along with her husband, Julian Martinez (1879-1943), discovered the pottery technique for their now famous black-on-black pottery in c. 1920. Though most readily recognized for this distinctive pottery style, they also created polychrome and redware/sienna examples, with Julian providing the decoration for pots formed by Maria; a pamphlet published by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Nov-Dec. 1940, describes Maria and Julian's working relationship: "To the beauty of form moulded by [Maria] from clay, Julian adds the colorful design illustrative of the best in Indian art." Maria worked with Julian until his death in 1943, and later worked with her daughter-in-law, Santana (1909-2002). Beginning in 1956, she worked with her son, Popovi Da, retiring from pottery-making upon his death in 1971.
Sold for $3,750 (buyer's premium included)