In the 1930's, this bust was simply identified as "San Ildefonso Pueblo Woman." While recently researching this sculpture, The Field Museum discovered the subject's name, as well as the fact that she was a potter; in fact, Desideria Montoya Sanchez belonged to a famous pottery-making family in New Mexico. Pieces of Sanchez's "black on black" pottery are in the Museum's permanent collection.
American artist Malvina Hoffman (1885-1966) created 104 bronze figures, busts, and heads for the 1933 exhibition The Races of Mankind. Each sculpture was meant to portray an activity or facial characteristics representative of a racial type. Fifty of the artworks are featured in The Field Museum's 2016 exhibition Looking at Ourselves: Rethinking the Sculptures of Malvina Hoffman.