Marking NM’s Historic Women: Maria Montoya Martinez

Photo Credit: Palace of the Governors Photo Archives
Maria Martinez polishing pottery, San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico
Photographer: Wyatt Davis
Date: 1938
Negative Number: 044192

Maria Montoya Martinez, Povika, “Pond Lily” (ca. 1886–1980)

Maria Martinez was a self-taught potter who helped elevate Pueblo pottery to a respected art form. She and her husband Julian were successful polychrome potters and together revived black pottery. Their work improved the economic conditions of the community. Recognized internationally, Maria was an innovator with strong spiritual and cultural awareness. Her skills and techniques have been carried on successfully by subsequent generations.

Roadside Marker Location: Pueblo of San Ildefonso; Rio Arriba County, US Hwy 502, Mile Marker 12.537

You can view a county by county list of the Historic Women Mile Markers in this pdf.

You can view a map of the Historic Women Mile Markers at

March is Women’s History Month. During this month we’ll be highlighting some of the women featured on New Mexico’s Historic Women Roadside Markers. Text provided by our colleagues at New Mexico Historic Preservation Division