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Cloud Society Praying for Peace on Earth, Water Jar

Sofia Medina, Rafael Medina

Arts of the Americas

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Beyond Borders and Boundaries, 20th and 21st Centuries
Sofia Medina was taught to make pottery by well-known Zia potter Trinidad Medina, the grandmother of her husband, Rafael. Painter Rafael Medina worked primarily in the flat style encouraged by the Santa Fe Indian School. However, in the 1970s, when he and Sofia began working together on pottery, Rafael’s figures became more naturalistic, as seen in the muscled dancers on this black clay jar. The decoration, painted in white slip, juxtaposes the fluid motions of ceremonial dancers with geometric patterns inspired by traditional Zia pottery.
MEDIUM Clay, pigment
  • Place Made: United States
  • DATES 1970s
    DIMENSIONS 11 5/8 x 12 3/4 x 6 3/4 in. (29.5 x 32.4 x 17.1 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed: "Potter Sofia Medina decorator Rafael Medina".
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2012.26.2
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Joann and Sidney Rosoff
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Sofia Medina (Walatowa (Jemez Pueblo), 1932-2010). Cloud Society Praying for Peace on Earth, Water Jar, 1970s. Clay, pigment, 11 5/8 x 12 3/4 x 6 3/4 in. (29.5 x 32.4 x 17.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Joann and Sidney Rosoff, 2012.26.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.2012.26.2_view1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.2012.26.2_view1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large water jar shape, finely polished with black background, painted with only white figures framed by arches of pueblo abstract forms reminiscent of the arches on historical Zia pottery where figures are often framed. Each of the four figures has an athletic body and is finely detailed, dancing vigorously around the jar. The figures are all on the surface plane of the jar much like figures drawn for Pueblo paintings in the 1930's would have been.
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    Sofia Medina (Walatowa (Jemez Pueblo), 1932-2010). <em>Cloud Society Praying for Peace on Earth, Water Jar</em>, 1970s. Clay, pigment, 11 5/8 x 12 3/4 x 6 3/4 in. (29.5 x 32.4 x 17.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Joann and Sidney Rosoff, 2012.26.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.2012.26.2_view1.jpg)