On View In:
Gallery 259
Artist:   Maria Martinez
Julian Martinez  
Title:   Vessel  
Date:   early 20th century  
Medium:   Ceramic  
Dimensions:   6 1/4 x 8 x 8 in. (15.88 x 20.32 x 20.32 cm)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Barbara L. Strom  
Location:   Gallery 259  

Maria Martinez is one of the most renowned Pueblo potters. She and her husband Julian invented the black-on-black firing technique, which creates contrasting matte and shiny dark surfaces. It is used to great effect on this vessel, highlighting the dramatic effect of the painted design. The couple worked as a team, with Maria building, shaping and polishing the pots, and Julian painting the surface. This design is called Avanyu, and represents a water serpent, an image that Julian adapted from ancient sources and used frequently. Water is precious in the desert and imagery associated with it carries power.

Name:   Martinez, Maria  
Culture:   San Ildefonso Pueblo  
Life Dates:   1886 - 1980  
Name:   Martinez, Julian  
Culture:   San Ildefonso Pueblo  
Life Dates:   1873 - 1943  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Signature 'Marie', in pencil, under base  
Classification:   Ceramics  
Physical Description:   bowl, ceramic-blackware, American Indian (Martinez); bowl, clay, polished blackware, avanyu or water serpent pattern  
Creation Place:   North America, United States, Southwest region, New Mexico, San Ildefonso Pueblo  
Accession #:   86.94.1  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts