A Twenty-Five Year Commitment to Classic and Contemporary Native and Regional Art
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"Boxed: Clay Boxes 1920-1950"
A Collection of Maria Martinez Pottery
August 13th, 2022

First, a "Thank You" for a great show with Arthur Lopez and Andrea Vargas during Spanish Market.  Arthur's show was a sell-out with his large-scale "Pillars of Strength" pieces.  Andrea's paintings were a hit, and the show continues with the more significant works selling quickly.  Thank you to all who attended in person and online!

This week's "Boxed" show is a labor of love for me.  It is a form in Pueblo pottery that I find fascinating due to its scarcity and difficulty in production.  This collection has taken several years to obtain, including ten boxes from San Ildefonso and two from Santa Clara.  I hope you enjoy their grouping displayed in the Santa Fe gallery and online. 

I am pleased to have a wonderful collection of pieces by Maria Martinez (San Ildefonso) from the 1920s to the 1960s.  They are all in excellent condition, with pieces in larger sizes and some stunning gunmetal firings.  It is worth the time to check them out in person, but my photos do them justice.  The display reflects the importance of her pottery in Pueblo history. 

Just ONE WEEK from Today!  We are thrilled to have an extraordinary group of artists present for the 100th anniversary of the Santa Fe Indian Market King Galleries - Santa Fe opening Friday, August 19th, from 3 – 5 pm.  Mark your calendars!  We have almost twenty artists in attendance.  It is going to be fantastic! 

I want to thank everyone for their continued support for the gallery and the artist we represent.  It has made a great difference to us through these uncertain times.  It continues to express to us the importance of our connections and the value of art as a part of our lives. 

Each day we will continue to add our New Additions to the website.  I hope you continue to enjoy it!

You can check out Instagram and Facebook for more frequent updates.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Charles S. King

480.481.0187 Scottsdale  

480.440.3912 Santa Fe

Gallery Hours

Scottsdale: Mon-Sat 10-5,

Santa Fe: Mon- Sunday 10–5 pm, and by appointment

Boxed: Pueblo Boxes from 1920s-50s

Why Boxes?

There has long been a fascination with boxes, that is to say, square or rectangular clay vessels with flat clay lids.  At the Pueblos of New Mexico, there is a historic precedent for these square-shaped pieces that were typically used for holding ceremonial cornmeal for Pueblo dances.  These boxes, however, typically did not have lids but more likely had carved or raised ends.

In the 1920s, there was a revival of boxes at San Ildefonso at the same time as the “new” black-on-black style of pottery.  The boxes had mostly flat sides but later some were cylindrical.  They were painted on each side, and they had a lid with a handle. The style of the handle, and its direction, were often indicative of the potter.  While some boxes may still have been made for cornmeal, most were made to hold personal sundries or curious for the newly arriving tourist trade.  

Boxes are difficult to make and crack in drying and firing, but San Ildefonso and Santa Clara potters in the 1920s and thereafter were adept at making these shapes.  Due to the utilitarian nature of Pueblo boxes, they have not fared well over the past one hundred years.  They are often cracked or chipped, and the lids are often missing or damaged. They are now one of the most sought-after pottery forms.

Maria Martinez Pottery Collection

It's exciting to get such an extensive collection of exceptional pieces by Maria Martinez (1887-1980), featuring some creative early work by Maria and her husband, Julian Martinez. These early pieces, signed "Marie" and dated from 1920-25, have inventive shapes and designs that were unique and dynamic for the early era of the "new" black-on-black pottery.  Finding them in great condition today is very exciting! 

The later works we have are by Maria and her son Popovi Da created between 1956-71.  They are stunning in polish, design, and firing.  This was the era of Popovi Da's gunmetal silvery-colored firings.  This collection has a fantastic variety of sizes and classic designs.  The appearance of the gunmetal coloration stands out as iconic of her pottery art!

Gallery News
Please mark your calendar.  Friday, August 19, from 3-5 PM, is our Annual Indian Market Show at our Santa Fe Gallery!  This year we have an impressive list of artists who will have new work and be in attendance.  If this is your first time going to the show, catch it!  It's always one of not just our top events but one of the most exciting shows in Santa Fe for the Indian Market!
Do you use our Layaway or Monthly Payment Plan? 
If not, it is a GREAT way to add that perfect piece to your collection and pay for it over several months.  In the end, you get a phenomenal piece of art in 2, 4, or 6 months!  So contact us today at 480.481.0187 or to talk about adding a piece to your collection through layaway!
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