Kewa (Santo Domingo) pottery jar

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Kewa (Santo Domingo) pottery jar

0.01

Attributed to Felipita Aguilar Garcia 

10 1/4" diameter x 10 7/8" high

made out of native clay and slip

circa 1900-1910

excellent condition with one hairline crack at the rim that has been stabilized (visible) and normal evidence of age

$5200.

(mc2083)

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According to Jonathan Batkin, Santo Domingo (Kewa Pueblo) was one of the few pueblos that maintained high standards of quality in pottery in the early 20th century. (Pottery of the Pueblos of New Mexico 1700-1940 [Taylor Museum of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs; 1987; page 99]). Certainly Felipita and Asuncion Aguilar were an integral part of the production of quality pottery.

Pottery by the Aguilar sisters (Felipita Aguilar Garcia and Asuncion Aguilar Cate')  is renowned for its elegance and beauty. In the early years of the 20th century, they continued the Santo Domingo tradition of painting geometric design elements onto the jar form. However, both Aguilar sisters innovated, modifying the shape of the jars to one that is more graceful, one that has a smooth curve from the body to the neck which flares out as it approaches the rim.  Designs are classic and yet more elegant that most others. Their pottery transcends the traditional form, with many pots emerging as true artistic works.

Felipita Garcia's designs tend to have a stronger positive/negative statement. This pot clearly exemplifies the positive and negative impact on design.

(Many of us who were exposed to their pottery by exhibits of their work at the Denver Art Museum and the Taylor Museum in Colorado Springs during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s became lifelong and devout fans of their work.  This jar clearly exhibits the "Aguilar" artistry for which the sisters are renowned).

When I first saw this jar, it immediately caught my attention because the potter expanded the bands of negative geometric elements as the pot curved inward and then swept outward towards the rim. These elements are adjusted in proportion and size to enhance the wonderful curve of the upper part of the pot. This combines their designs in an elaborate and yet very effective way. It is clearly an "Aguilar sisters" pot. 

The owner of the pot has priced it very reasonably.  It is truly one of the most beautiful examples of Santo Domingo pottery of the early 20th century that I have seen.

Marcy Burns Schillay