Maria Martinez (1881-1980)
Maria Martinez was a Native American potter from the Pueblo of San Ildefonso in New Mexico. She is widely considered to be one of the greatest traditional Native American potters of the 20th century. Maria learned the art of pottery making from her mother, who was also a skilled potter. She was known for her unique style of black-on-black pottery, which involved coating the pottery with a glossy, black slip and then burnishing it to a smooth finish. She worked with her husband, Julian Martinez, to perfect this technique and their work was widely celebrated.
Maria became a respected leader in the Native American art community and her work has been widely exhibited and collected by museums and institutions around the world. Today, she is remembered as an important figure in the preservation of traditional Native American art forms.