Olla (Water Jar)
Arts of the Americas
On View: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Northeast (Herstory gallery), 4th floor
Working in Po-Woh-Geh-Owingeh (San Ildefonso Pueblo), at the foot of the Black Mesa in north-central New Mexico, Maria Martínez invented a unique style of pottery featuring black-on-black designs, building on lessons learned from her maternal aunt’s use of clay.
Instead of a traditional potter’s wheel, Martínez adapted the bottom of an old plate or pot to form the base of the olla, utilizing hand-coiling techniques to build up its walls, a rounded piece of gourd to smooth its surface, stones to polish it, and finally, clay and boiled wild spinach plants to add designs before firing. Despite the lack of glazing, the burnished surface reflects light, throwing the matte abstract forms into subtle contrast.
overall: 7 × 9 3/4 in. (17.8 × 24.8 cm) (show scale)
The base has the artist’s signature, “Marie”. The accession number is
painted in red with a clear barrier layer on the base.
Gift of Graham and Megan Marks in memory of Barbara and Fred Marks
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Maria Martinez (ca. 1887-1980). Olla (Water Jar), ca. 1923. Ceramic, overall: 7 × 9 3/4 in. (17.8 × 24.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Graham and Megan Marks in memory of Barbara and Fred Marks, 2013.100.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 2013.100.4_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2013.100.4_PS9.jpg., 2019
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.