Acoma Pottery Jar
472. Description: Lucy Lewis (1900-1992 Acoma) Poly chrome Pottery Jar 4.5''x5.25''. Depicts rain birds with stylized floral design. Excellent condition. Purchased from the artist at Allard Indian Show in San Francisco 1976.
Lucy Lewis is regarded as the matriarch of Acoma pottery and alongside Maria Martinez, is one of the best known Southwestern potters. She started making pottery around the turn of the century, continuing a tradition dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years.
A New York Times article published on March 26, 1992 chronicles her journey and impact.
Lucy M. Lewis Dies; Self-Taught Potter, 93
Published: March 26, 1992
Lucy M. Lewis, a leading American Indian potter, died on March 12 in the hospital of the pueblo where she lived, in Acoma, N.M. Her birth date was never recorded, but she was believed to be 93 years old, her family said.
She died after a long illness, said her daughter, Emma Lewis Mitchell.
Miss Lewis's works have been exhibited in museums and embassies around the world, and are included in collections at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the Museum of the American Indian in New York.
She grew up in the Acoma pueblo, a Pueblo Indian community and the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in North America. Miss Lewis, who was a self-taught artist, won many awards, including the New Mexico Governor's Award in 1983.
She was also a teacher and traveled around the country giving workshops in ceramics. A biography, "Lucy M. Lewis, American Indian Potter," by Susan Peterson, was published by Kodansha International in 1984.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by 2 sons, 6 other daughters, 45 grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren.