Fred H. Robertson

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 707

Fred Robertson joined his father Alexander Robertson at his short-lived Roblin Pottery in San Francisco pottery. The pottery was destroyed during that city’s devastating earthquake and fire in 1906, and father and son moved to Los Angeles. They began modestly, using the furnaces of the Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company to fire their work. While Alexander Robertson moved on to other local firms, Fred remained at the brickworks. He provided technical assistance to the commercial operation, but he also continue to work independently on his own art pottery. He used native clays that were highly refined and suitable for firing at a high temperature. This resulted in a fine, thin body, well-suited to the subtle and sophisticated glazes. This vase is characteristic of Robertson’s graceful, wheel-thrown shapes and superb crystalline glazes with their distinctive repertoire of soft color harmonies.

This /vase is from the Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection of American art pottery donated to the Metropolitan Museum in 2017 and 2018. The works in the collection date from the mid-1870s through the 1950s. Together they comprise one of the most comprehensive and important assemblages of this material known.

Vase, Fred H. Robertson (1869–1952), Stoneware, American

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