Here we have an unframed 1972 oil-on-masonite painting by renowned specialist in Native American pottery Francis H. Harlow (1928-2016). Harlow received a Ph.D. degree in 1953 and had a long career as a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He began to study regional fossils, which led to an even more serious study of Pueblo Indian pottery. He became internationally renowned for his study into the stylistic evolution of historic Pueblo pottery, and he wrote seven books on the topic. He also became a painter, his theme mostly important pieces of pottery, and his paintings are included in collections worldwide. This particular painting is of a polychrome jar constructed by Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo. We read on the back in Harlow's handwriting that the design on the jar was done by Alfredo Montoya (Maria's maiden name is Montoya, and Alfred may have been an uncle or other relative). Of course, Maria Martinez is one of the most--if not THE most--famous Native American potters in history. In Harlow's final book, a memoir, he wrote of getting to meet the famed potter, along with several others. He did this painting the same decade in which his memoir was published. The painting is from the estate of an Albuquerque family.
The piece measures 8-7/8" wide by 12" high. There is some damage to the painting, specifically some spots along edges where the board has flaked, taking a bit of the paint with it. There is also a drip mark in the painting itself. The back has some old masking tape stuck along the edges.
An iconic subject by an incredible scholar.
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