c. 1940s

María Martinez

(American, c. 1887-1980)

and Santana Roybal Martinez



Diameter: 23.1 cm (9 1/8 in.)

Gift in memory of Dr. Henry L. Tapp by his family, MaryLou, Carl, and Richard Tapp 1999.191



Maria Martinez was one of the most distinguished Native American potters of the Southwest who worked at the San Ildefonso Pueblo in the first half of the 20th century. Firing in a reducing (low oxygen) atmosphere produces the black-on-black effect seen on this bowl. Maria Martinez and her husband Julian invented the black-on-black decoration technique around 1920; it was then adopted by many other potters at their pueblo.


The Black Color
Collaborating with her Family
How was this made?
See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email