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Lucy Lewis, Lucy Martin Lewis

Biography to Display: 

1902 Born Acoma, New Mexico

1992 Died Acoma, New Mexico


—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 handmade tools. 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' unsigned pots were sold along Route 66 during her lifetime. In the 1950s, when she started entering competitions, Lewis began signing her pots.


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 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
Black and White Olla
Date: after 1950
Materials: Local Clay
Method: Coiled
Surface Technique: Slip
Date: 1958
Materials: Local Clay
Method: Coiled
Surface Technique: Slip
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson
Materials: Local Clay
Method: Coiled
Surface Technique: Polychrome, Slip
Materials: Local Clay
Method: Hand-Built
Surface Technique: Slip
Judith and Martin Schwartz Collection
Photo: John Polak
Judith and Martin Schwartz Collection
Photo: John Polak

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified July 24, 2023.