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Lucy Lewis, Lucy Martin Lewis, Acoma

Biography to Display: 

1902 Born, Acoma, New Mexico

1992 Died, Acoma, New Mexico

PRIMARY WORK EXPERIENCE

—1992Studio Potter, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico

 

Lucy Lewis' pots are usually under twelve inches and either polychrome or, more commonly, black on white. Lewis decorated her pots with geometric abstractions inspired by traditional Native American designs on a restrained or undecorated background. Her early designs are inspired by Anasazi and Mogollon culture pottery shards. As her career progressed she became increasingly adept at drawing fine-line surface decoration, in the style of Mimbres pottery.

Lewis used clays only available to members of the Acoma pueblo and fired her white earthenware pots outdoors in a dung-fueled kiln. She coil built her pots and finished them using a coating of white slip applied with a moist pebble or other handmade tool. She later began to incorporate pottery shards into her works.

She learned basic potting techniques from her great aunt and members of her family continued to make traditional pottery after her death.

Many of Lewis's pots, sold along Route 66 during her lifetime, are unsigned. In the 1950s, when she started entering competitions, Lewis began signing her pots.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona

Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

Idyllwild Arts Academy, Idyllwild, California

Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas

Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey

Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian Institution American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C.

Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Bibliography

Bibliography to Display: 

Arnold, David L. "Pueblo Pottery: 2000 Years of Artistry." National Geographic  (November 1982).

Dillingham, Rick. Seven Families in Pueblo Pottery. Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1974.

__________], "The Pottery of Acoma Pueblo," American Indian Art 2, no.4 (1983).

Dittert, Alfred E. and Fred Plog. Generations in Clay: Pueblo Pottery of the American Southwest. Flagstaff, Arizona: Northland Press, 1980.

Herzog, Melanie. "Pueblo Pottery: Continuity and Change: Lucy Lewis.” School Arts Magazine (January 1991).

Oleman, Minnie. "Lucy Lewis: Acoma's Versatile Potter.” El Palacio 75, no. 2 (1968).

Peterson, Susan Harnly and Fred Kabotie. Lucy M. Lewis: American Indian Potter. New York, New York: Kodansha International, 1984.

Peterson, Susan, "Remembering Two Great American Potters: Lucy Lewis and Maria Martinez.” Studio Potter (December 1994).

______________, "Matriarchs of Pueblo Pottery," Portfolio, (November/December 1980).

Tanner, Clara Lee. Southwest Indian Craft Arts. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, 1968.

 

 

Typical Marks
after 1950
1958
Black and White Olla
Date: after 1950
Form: Vessel
Materials: Local Clay
Method: Coiled
Surface Technique: Slip
Vessel
Date: 1958
Form: Vessel
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Coiled
Crocker Art Museum, promised gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D.
Crocker Art Museum, promised gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D.
Olla
Form: Vessel
Materials: Local Clay
Method: Coiled
Surface Technique: Polychrome, Slip
Vessel
Form: Vessel
Materials: Local Clay
Method: Hand Built
Surface Technique: Slip
Judith and Martin Schultz Collection
Photo: John Polak
Judith and Martin Schultz Collection

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified October 5, 2017. http://www.themarksproject.org:443/marks/lewis