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Cabinet R: Shelf 3

Modernist Glass and American Art Pottery

The late nineteenth century witnessed a resurgence of beautifully handcrafted decorative objects and the appreciation of fine craftsmanship—this was a reaction to the poorly designed, mass-produced goods that came with industrialization. Hand-crafted objects, however, were time-consuming to make and could be produced only in limited numbers. Around the year 1900, in an effort to make well-designed objects accessible to the larger public, artists began to reevaluate the importance of easy to reproduce designs. The refined opulence of glasswork typical of Louis Comfort Tiffany and the Arts and Crafts movement gradually gave way to a more modernist aesthetic that emphasized cleaner lines and plain, undecorated surfaces.

Many of the glassmakers featured here were initially inspired by the Art Nouveau movement—characterized by organic forms and motifs derived from nature—before developing more austere idioms. Émile Gallé’s technique of glass making featured heavy, usually opaque glass that he etched or carved with plant motifs. René Lalique’s works, often featuring various flora and fauna, played with the effects of transparency and surface treatment. François-Emile Decorchemont is perhaps best known for his technique of coloring glass to make it resemble translucent stones, while the work of Orrefors Glasbruk, a Swedish glass manufacturer, characteristically has clean lines of brilliant crystal that bring to mind frozen liquid. This work illustrates the measured shift to design along industrial principles by modernist reformers, in which beauty is achieved through form in its purest state rather than by means of applied ornament.

The first quarter of the twentieth 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 (later Perry) and Horace James Calkins, the Pewabic Pottery concentrated on hand-built vessels whose shapes were largely derived from traditional Asian ceramics; 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’s collection come from Margaret Watson Parker, for whom they were personally selected for their quality and beauty by Mary Chase Stratton.

Ann Arbor-based Markham Pottery was founded by Herman C. Markham, who, in the mid-1880s, began working with the clay in his yard to create utilitarian vases with an understated beauty. By 1905, Markham was joined in the enterprise by his son Kenneth. Their pottery consisted of a low-fired ceramic body based on classical forms decorated with a distinctive webbing of low relief clay that is part of the mold. Usually fired with matte glazes in earthen colors and stains, the delicacy of Markham ware made their products quite popular.

Rookwood Pottery is one of the oldest fine art potteries in the United States. It was founded in 1880—at the height of the Arts and Crafts movement—in Cincinnati, Ohio by Maria Longworth Nichols, and soon became America’s foremost art pottery. Rookwood was the first pottery to hire a chemist to develop its distinctive glazes, and also employed professional artists, among them several Japanese craftsmen. Although Rookwood Pottery won its reputation for its early hand-painted pottery, many of its later vessels were production wares made for a broad audience; by the 1920s nearly every local bride had a piece of Rookwood pottery among her wedding gifts.

Clear glass bowl-shaped vessel with large foot and turned-in lip.
Orrefors Glasbruk
Bowl
glass
3 9/16 in. x 8 5/16 in. ( 9 cm x 21.1 cm )
Bequest of Jean Paul Slusser
Inverted cone-shaped vessel of brown, yellow and green glass
François-Emile Décorchemont
Vase
brown, yellow, and green glass
6 1/2 x 5 5/8 in. (16.51 x 14.29 cm)
Transfer from the College of Architecture and Design
Clear glass saucer with milky, iridescent free-standing form in the center shaped like a rabbit.
René Lalique
Ashtray with freestanding rabbit
glass
2 9/16 x 3 3/4 in. (6.51 x 9.53 cm)
Transfer from the College of Architecture and Design
Vessel with trefoil, or three-lobed, shape of transparent blue glass with an intricate plant-motif decoration and gold accents. <br />
Emile Gallé
Trefoil vase
glass
5 1/4 in x 5 9/16 in (13.34 cm x 14.13 cm)
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker
Inverted cone-shaped vessel with fluted sides made of transparent olive-green glass
Orrefors Glasbruk
Fluted Olive Green Vase
glass
7 1/2 x 7 11/16 in. (19 x 19.4 cm)
Bequest of Jean Paul Slusser
Glass bowl or cup-like vessel with green body, gold striated rim and clear glass handles.

Two-handled cup
glass
2 9/16 x 4 5/8 in. (6.5 x 11.59 cm)
Transfer from the College of Architecture and Design
Glass vase with wide body and neck and slightly flared lip with irridescent golden yellow surface treatment in vertical leaf or feather design
Arthur Nash
Vase
iridescent glass
7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm)
Transfer from the College of Architecture and Design
Vessel is a tall vase with a flaring lip and a slight flaring at the base.  The overall glaze is a blue matte "vellum" glaze with underglaze decoration depicting a band of white peonies below the lip.  The lip itself modulates to a rosy pink color.
Rookwood Pottery
Vase
white body with slip decoration and vellum glaze
8 11/16 in. x 4 5/16 in. x 4 5/16 in. ( 22.1 cm x 10.9 cm x 10.9 cm )
Gift of G. Robina Quale-Leach
Slender blue-glazed vase with a streamlined form that tapers to a base narrower than the shoulder of vessel. The work has a modeled and stylized motif of peacock feathers. Overall effect is of simplicity and refinement.
Rookwood Pottery
Vase
stoneware with modeled matte blue glaze
6 7/16 x 2 9/16 x 2 9/16 in. (16.2 x 6.5 x 6.5 cm);6 7/16 x 2 9/16 x 2 9/16 in. (16.2 x 6.5 x 6.5 cm)
Gift of the Marvin Felheim Collection
Wide cylindrical footless vessel with slightly bowed side, small rim and very large mouth covered with a textured matte glaze in shades of light and dark browns<br />
Markham Art Pottery
Vase
stoneware with matte glaze
8 1/2 in. x 6 3/8 in. x 6 3/8 in. ( 21.59 cm x 16.19 cm x 16.19 cm )
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. E. Thurston Thieme, from the collection of Professor and Mrs. Hugo Paul Thieme, March 26, 2007
Vase has a rounded form and a matte green glaze.  Molded and incised designs include a stylized peacock feather and zig-zag decoration on shoulder of vessel.  Overall effect is of a simplified and sophisticated form.
Rookwood Pottery
Bowl with Peacock Design
stoneware with modeled matte green glaze
3 5/8 in. x 5 1/8 in. x 5 1/8 in. ( 9.2 cm x 13 cm x 13 cm )
Gift of G. Robina Quale-Leach

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Part of 1 Learning Collection

Cabinet A: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet A: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet A: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet B: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet B: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet B: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet C: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet C: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet C: Shelf 3
<p>Inkwells </p>

Cabinet D: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet D: Shelf 2
<p>Inkwells </p>

Cabinet D: Shelf 3
<p>Inkwells </p>

Cabinet E: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the James Marshall Plumer Collec...

Cabinet E: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the James Marshall Plumer Collec...

Cabinet E: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the James Marshall Plumer Collec...

Cabinet F: Shelf 1
<p>Mortuary Art from China </p>

Cabinet F: Shelf 2
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet F: Shelf 3
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet G: Shelf 1
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet G: Shelf 2
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet G: Shelf 3 
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet H: Shelf 1
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet H: Shelf 2
<p>Mortuary Art from China </p>

Cabinet H: Shelf 3
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet I: Shelf 1
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet I: Shelf 2
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet I: Shelf 3
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet J: Shelf 1
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet J: Shelf 2
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet J: Shelf 3
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet K: Shelf 1
<p>Religious Sculpture from India</p>

Cabinet K: Shelf 2
<p>Religious Sculpture from India</p>

Cabinet K: Shelf 3
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet L: Shelf 1
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet L: Shelf 2
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet L: Shelf 3
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet M: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Dora and William Hunter Coll...

Cabinet M: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Dora and William Hunter Coll...

Cabinet M: Shelf 3
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet N: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Margaret Watson Parker Colle...

Cabinet N: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Margaret Watson Parker Colle...

Cabinet N: Shelf 3
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet O: Shelf 1
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet O: Shelf 2
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet O: Shelf 3
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet P: Shelf 1
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet P: Shelf 2
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet P: Shelf 3
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet Q: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Ellen and Richard Laing Coll...

Cabinet Q: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Ellen and Richard Laing Coll...

Cabinet Q: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Ellen and Richard Laing Coll...

Cabinet Q: Shelf 4
<p>American Plaster Casts</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 1
<p>American Plaster Casts</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 2
<p>Apostle Spoons and American Silver</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 3
<p>Modernist Glass and American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 4
<p>American Plaster Casts</p>

Cabinet S: Shelf 1
<p>American Silver</p>

Cabinet S: Shelf 2
<p>Tiffany Glass</p>

Cabinet S: Shelf 3
<p>American Silver</p>

Cabinet T: Shelf 1
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet T: Shelf 2
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet T: Shelf 3
<p>Native American Art</p>

Cabinet U: Shelf 1
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet U: Shelf 2
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet U: Shelf 3
<p>Native American Art</p>

Cabinet V: Shelf 1
<p>The Human Figure in African Art</p>

Cabinet V: Shelf 2
<p>African Miniature Masks</p>

Cabinet V: Shelf 3
<p>African Masks and Masquerades</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 1
<p>The Head in African Art</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Helmut Stern Collection</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Helmut Stern Collection</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 4
<p>African Masks and Masquerades</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 1
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 2
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 3
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 4
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Fusfeld Art Collection</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 2
<p>Contemporary Art</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 3
<p>Contemporary Art</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 4
<p>Contemporary Art</p>

11 Collection Object Sources

Bowl (1983/2.50)
Vase (1972/2.228)
Trefoil vase (1955/1.156)
Two-handled cup (1972/2.230)
Vase (1972/2.227)
Vase (2005/2.59)
Vase (1983/1.438)
Vase (2007/1.100)

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Last Updated

June 8, 2020 1:32 p.m.

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