Maria Montoya Martinez was a Native American artist who created internationally known pottery. Martinez (born Maria Antonia Montoya), her husband Julian, and other family members examined traditional Pueblo pottery styles and techniques to create pieces which reflect the Pueblo people’s legacy of fine artwork and crafts.
Martinez was from the San Ildefonso Pueblo, a community located 20 miles northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico. At an early age, she learned pottery skills from her aunt. During this time, Spanish tinware and Anglo enamelware had become readily available in the Southwest, making the creation of traditional cooking and serving pots less necessary. Traditional pottery making techniques were being lost, but Martinez and her family experimented with different techniques and helped preserve the cultural art.