UVaM - University of Virginia Art Museum

Collection

Three Generations of San Ildefonso Pueblo Pottery


Maria Martinez
(Poveka),
1889-1980
Julian Martinez
(Pocano),
1887-1943
Tewa peoples, San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico
Black-on-Black Jar with Feather Motif, first half 20th c.
Earthenware, slip,
10 7/8 x 10 dia. inches
Gift of Lucyle McLain Pace and Robert Septimus Pace, Jr.,
1988.31.3

Maria Martinez
(Poveka),
1889-1980
Santana Roybal
Martinez,
1902-2002
Tewa peoples, San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico
Black-on-Black Bowl with Geometric Motif, first half 20th c.
Earthenware, slip,
4 3/8 x 6 dia. inches
Gift of Lucyle McLain Pace and Robert Septimus Pace, Jr.,
1988.31.6

Maria Martinez
(Poveka),
1889-1980
Popovi Da
(Antonio Jose Martinez),
1922-1971
Tewa peoples, San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico
Black-on-Black Bowl with Avanyu Motif, c. 1950-1971
Earthenware, slip,
5 x 6.75 dia. inches
Gift of Wendy S. Cohen,
2007.13.2

Barbara "Tahn-moo-whé" (Sunbeam) Gonzales,
b. 1947
Tewa peoples, San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico
Sienna-on-Black Vessel with Avanyu Motif, 1978
Earthenware, slip, turquoise,
2.75 x 4 dia. inches
Gift of Wendy S. Cohen,
2007.13.3

Three Generations of San Ildefonso Pueblo Pottery:
Maria & Julian Martinez; Santana & Maria; Maria & Popovi Da;
Barbara Tahn-moo-whé (Sunbeam) Gonzales


The three generations of the Martinez family of potters demonstrates the innovation and change in Native America art of the early 20th century. The influence of Western cultural values on Pueblo artistry led to pottery as an art form rather than vernacular object. The concept of an individual as artist was introduced and signatures began to appear on pottery.

Maria Martinez is considered today as she was in the early 20th century, one of the best Pueblo artists of her time. Each of her beautifully balanced vessels was created with out the use of a potter's wheel and was eventually painted by others in her family. Initially her husband, Julian painted motifs such as the feather patterns he saw on ancient Mimbres pottery shards. Later, he drew on his own design vocabulary, including his version of the avanyu or plumed water serpent. After Julian's death, his legacy was continued first by a daughter-in-law, Santana, and then by a son, Popovi Da. The contemporary artist, Barbara Tahn-moo-whé (Sunbeam) Gonzales is the great-grand daughter of Maria and Julian Martinez. She continues the family tradition of innovation with her sienna on black pottery.