Black on Black San Ildefonso Bowl signed by Marie and Julian. Circa 1926-1943.
8.5" Diameter, 3.75" Height
Condition: Very good
Of all their achievements together, Maria and Julian are best known for their invention of “black-on-black” pottery. San Ildefonso and the neighboring Pueblos of Santa Clara and San Juan had a tradition of plain black pottery that went back many generations. Maria made her exquisitely polished black ware as early as 1912, but it was not until 1919 that she and Julian began to experiment with a style of pottery in which decoration was rendered through the contrast of shiny black and matte black surfaces.
Perfected by 1921, the black-on-black process was widely recognized as the greatest innovation in Pueblo pottery in generations. Drawn irresistibly by its subtlety and elegance, non-Indian collectors flocked around Maria to buy every piece of black-on-black pottery she could make. The Museum of New Mexico collected their first of many examples as early as 1920, and Maria’s work consistently took top prizes at the Santa Fe Indian Market which started in 1922. By the early 1930s, Maria’s annual income placed her family solidly in the financial middle class, and her work had become famous around the world.
Provenance: From the Frank & Cynthia McCarthy collection
Item #: C1830