A black and white image of a circular object on a black background.

Current Exhibition

Maria & Modernism

Running through July 28, 2024

Monday – Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Grand Gallery


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A black and white vase with designs on it.
6. Maria and Julian Martinez. Black-on-black jar, 1940, 15 1/8 x 21 ¾ inches. Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, Ohio). Purchased with funds from the Libby Endowment. Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey. 2019.1.

Maria Martinez (1887-1980), the San Ildefonso Pueblo ceramicist who became one of the most widely celebrated artists of her time and whose work continues to influence new generations of artists, has been conspicuously excluded from the discourse on American Modernism. In 2024, Phoenix’s Heard Museum will present an original exhibition and scholarly catalogue titled Maria & Modernism that seek to reconcile this oversight of American art history.

The hallmark of Maria Martinez’s career was discovery and innovation. In partnership with her husband Julian, Maria not only reinvented, reinvigorated, and disrupted Pueblo pottery-making, but boldly transformed the art form – a tenet of American Modernism. Despite her artistic contributions and the decades of research, exhibitions, and scholarship focused on a career that spanned more than seven decades, Maria has yet to be recognized as a prominent American Modernist. To correct this omission, Maria & Modernism will present examples of her pottery that substantiate the aesthetic and conceptual affinities of her work with major artistic and creative movements of her time, including decorative and industrial design, and examine her ongoing influence on 21st-century artists.

  • A group of black beads arranged on a white surface.
    Maria Martinez and Popovi Da (1922-1971). Gunmetal finished jars, July 1963-December 1970, Smallest: 2 x 2 ¾ inches. Largest 4 x 6 inches. Collection of Nadine Basha.
  • A black vase on a white background.
    Maria Martinez and Popovi Da (1922-1971). Black-on-black jar with gunmetal finish, 1968, 10 ½ x 9 ¾ inches. D. H. Waite Collection.
  • A black vase on a white background.
    Maria Martinez and Popovi Da. Black-on-black jar, 1964, 15 ¾ x 19 1/2 inches. Private Collection.

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