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Object Timeline

1940

  • Work on this object began.

1960

  • Work on this object ended.

1980

  • We acquired this object.

2014

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2019

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Pot (USA), ca. 1950

This is a Pot. It was ceramist: Lucy Martin Lewis. It is dated ca. 1950 and we acquired it in 1980. Its medium is hand-coiled earthenware, slip and mineral decoration. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Lucy Lewis learned to make pottery from her great-Aunt and other women living in Sky City, a remote three hundred foot high sandstone mesa in Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico. Until the middle of the twentieth century, the community had no plumbing and pottery jars were necessary for hauling essentials to the waterless mesa. Pottery making was a woman’s art, and most Acoma women were skilled ceramicists and pottery painters. Their wares were traded throughout New Mexico but Lewis was anonymous outside of her Pueblo until she entered an art competition in Gallup, New Mexico in 1950.There she won an Award of Merit, the first of many honors she would receive over her lifetime. Lucy Lewis was the first Acoma pottery arist to sign her work, thereby raising the status of her pottery to that of fine art. Remaining active into her 90s, Lewis infused her work with ancestral designs, and each pot stands as evidence of immense ethnic pride.

This object was donated by Mrs. Homer Kripke. It is credited Gift of Mrs. Homer Kripke.

  • Paper Porcelain Mug, Prototype, 2009
  • slip cast, fired unglazed porcelain with added metal drill dust, applied....
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.
  • 2014-38-9

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x diam.: 9.4 x 11.1 cm (3 11/16 x 4 3/8 in.) diam. (at lip): 7.9 cm (3 1/8 in.)

It is signed

Signed in brown, underside: "Lucy M. Lewis Acoma, N.M."

Cite this object as

Pot (USA), ca. 1950; Ceramist: Lucy Martin Lewis (American, ca. 1900–1992); hand-coiled earthenware, slip and mineral decoration; H x diam.: 9.4 x 11.1 cm (3 11/16 x 4 3/8 in.) diam. (at lip): 7.9 cm (3 1/8 in.); Gift of Mrs. Homer Kripke; 1980-21-6

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Ellen DeGeneres Selects.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18504655/ |title=Pot (USA), ca. 1950 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 September 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>