Torn label, bot., probably from the New York Architectural League; traces of adhesive residue from paper medallion, probably a Pewabic label, on bot.; strip of masking tape, bot., is inscribed in graphite: THE PEWABIC POTTERY/DETROIT, MICH/Founded by Mary Chase Stratton, 1903
51.5 cm x 28.2 cm x 28.2 cm (20 1/4 in. x 11 1/8 in. x 11 1/8 in.)
This is a tall vase with an oval shaped body. It has a short neck with a flat banded lip and the shoulder has a distinct, but rounded edge. It has a dark blue glaze and the upper portion has a golden iridescent color. The surface of the pottery is very rough with bumps and rough patches.
Pewabic Pottery was founded in Detroit, Michigan by Mary Chase Stratton who followed the tenets of the early 20th c. Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1907, inspired by art glass and ancient Near Eastern ceramics, she worked to create iridescent glazes, using a special reduction kiln developed by her partner, Horace J. Caulkins. She referred to her experimentation with iridescent glazes as "painting with fire." Stratton created many tonal variations of blue-glazed ware for which Pewabic Pottery became well- known.
Cylindrical vessel with striated glaze. The rings of the thrown clay can be seen beneath the glaze.
The first quarter of this century saw the rise of a number of art potteries in the United States, a facet of the international Arts and Crafts Movement. Founded in Detroit in 1907 by Mary Chase Stratton (employing her married name of Perry at a later date) and Horace James Calkins, the Pewabic Pottery concentrated on hand-built vessels whose shapes were largely derived from traditional Asian ceramics. Under Marry Chase Stratton’s artistic direction, these refined forms were combined with a rich variety of iridescent glazes that became the Pottery’s hallmark.
Most of the works in the Museum of Art’s Pewabic collection come from Margaret Watson Parker, a Detroit-area collector and associate of Charles Lang Freer. Mrs. Parker’s bequest to the University of Michigan included numerous Pewabic works selected personally for her by Mary Chase Stratton for their quality and beauty. Several additional pieces of Pewabic ware came to the University from the collection of H.O. Havemeyer.
Signature: incised in the image l.r.: Jacob Lawrence 53
Inscriptions and Marks: on removable backing board, l.l., written sideways with a blue colored pencil “#15”; u.c., with a blue colored pencil surrounded by an oval “112”; on liner, l.l., written sideways with a blue colored pencil “#15”; on tape covering upper member of the inner frame; u.r., written with a red colored pencil “44”
Eight abstracted figures (three kneeling in front and five standing in back) wearing orange tank tops and white shorts face the viewer; two basketballs and five trophies between figures in the foreground. Figures stand in front of a background of fragmented, arched and circular areas of color in blues and golds.
Jacob Lawrence drew upon his surroundings in Harlem, NY for influence and inspiration. His work often contains people in the African American community and their struggles, dreams and triumphs. “Champions” depicts a portrait of an African American basketball team resplendent with their five trophies. The schematic designs, flat space, angular figures, and fragmented, highly patterned surfaces of this piece are typical of his style.
The word “love” printed in capital letters in red on a blue and green background with a black border or frame
”LOVE” exhibits Indiana’s use of vibrating color and simple formal configurations. It was originally designed as a Christmas card commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art in 1965, and reflects Indiana’s Pop-inspired fascination with the power of ordinary words, and is filled with spiritual, social and political overtones, especial when looked at in the historical context of the 1960s.