Julian Martinez ~ San Ildefonso Pueblo

Published on August 4, 2012 by Amy

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Julian Martinez
Julian Martinez

Julian Martinez, also known as Pocano (1879-1943), was a San Ildefonso Pueblo potter and the patriarch of the most important family of Native American artisans in the United States.

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Background

Martinez was born in 1897 in San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico. His name, Pocano, means “Coming of the Spirits” in Tewa. He worked as a farmer, general laborer, and janitor, in addition to being an artist. He was elected governor of San Ildefonso.

Martinez married Maria Martinez, and their son Popovi Da, became a famous artist.

Artwork

Born on the San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico, Martinez was instrumental in reviving the San Ildefonso and Santa Clara blackware pottery traditions. Julian researched traditional designs and reproduced them on the pottery, later modifying traditional designs to create his own. His wife Maria Martinez is considered the preeminent creator of San Ildefonso blackware pottery and her name is synonymous with excellence in Indian pottery making. His son Popovi Da continued the tradition of innovation in pottery making, and is considered by many as the most accomplished Native American potter and painter of the 20th century.

Martinez is credited for inventing a revolutionary technique that would allow for areas of the pottery to have a matte finish and other areas to be a glossy jet black.

Martinez was also an easel painter. He painted Pueblo rituals and abstract designs with colored pencil and watercolor, and featured Western figurative types against blank backgrounds. He painted murals at the former Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.

Source: wikipedia

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@ article {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com2014,
    title = {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged},
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}
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