Maria Martinez Matriarch of New Mexico Potters This Week at LiveAuctionTalk.com Rosemary McKittrick unearths the history behind the stuff in her weekly art, antiques and collectibles column. Visit the site. Sign up for a free weekly subscription.
News-Antique.com - Jan 24,2011 - If you explore prehistoric pueblo village sites in the southwest its pottery shards that will often give you the clearest trace of what life may have been like among the ancient Native American peoples.
In some of these sites hundreds of pottery shards saturate the landscape. They’re scattered around the dry desert soil like ancient puzzle pieces. They piece together a story about pottery making that dates back 24 centuries within the Southwest.
Maria Martinez is the name most often associated with pottery making in New Mexico. She was the matriarch of five generations of potters.
Maria shaped and polished the pots; her husband Julian painted them. Their technique raised the bar on what was possible.
Today Maria is remembered as a guardian of her culture’s pottery tradition.
She died in 1980.
On Sept. 13, Bonhams & Butterfields, San Francisco, featured a selection of San Ildefonso pottery in its Art and Artifacts auction.
A blackware jar; painted about the shoulder with a sinuous water serpent motif and raincloud complements; signed Marie; 5 ˝ inches high by 8 ˝ inches; sold for $1,342.
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