Mid Century Style and Studio Pottery

Mid Century Style and Studio Pottery

In the 1950s and early 1960s, trends in home furnishings in the United States reflected a complex national mood high hopes and deep anxiety. At once optimistic about economic and technological progress, Americans were also chastened by the pervasive anxiety of the Cold War and the prospect of military conflict with the Soviet Union. It was not unlike the earlier part of this decade: an unprecedented economic boom coupled with unprecedented fear of terrorism. One way in which these impulses were manifested was in the trend for combining the sleek design of manufactured goods with more rustic, pastoral handmade craft objects.

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Ayumi Horie and Andy Brayman: Who Lives in Greenwich Village?

Ayumi Horie and Andy Brayman: Who Lives in Greenwich Village?

The "Who Lives in Greenwich Village" tile project, created by Ayumi Horie and Andy Brayman to kick off the centennial celebration at Greenwich House Pottery, includes three maps layered onto 86 unique tiles to create one ceramic depiction: an ecological map from 1609, a street map of Greenwich Village from 1909, and a sampling of fauna that roamed the area in 1609 (several of which are now endangered in the Northeast).

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Jeanne Quinn: Everything Is Not As It Seems

Jeanne Quinn: Everything Is Not As It Seems

In Richard Wagner’s 1849 essay “The Artwork of the Future,” he presents the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk: the complete work of art. I have always loved this idea of being able to create something sensually encompassing, as Wagner attempted with his own work. The decorative arts, referred to in German as Kunsthandwerk, in some sense have always provided the possibility for the total work of art. The decorative arts are the arts of domestic space and they surround us completely: textiles, wall coverings, carpets, furniture, lighting, vessels of all kinds, and every other thing that covers a wall or ceiling or floor or that we use in everyday life. I like to think of my pieces as Gesamtkunsthandwerks, in which I attempt to combine multiples that reference traditionally decorative objects into sensually encompassing installations.

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