Manufacturer Chelsea Keramic Art Works American
Designer Hugh C. Robertson

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 707

The Chelsea Keramic Art Works was the first American ceramics firm to designate itself an "art pottery." It was founded in Chelsea, Massachusetts, by members of the Robertson family, all of whom had honed their skills in the ceramics industry in Britain before coming to this country. One of the most avant-garde of the firm’s designs is this squat, baluster-shaped vase. Its only decoration is a cut in the lip that has been curled back, paralleling concepts in Japanese pottery and prefiguring the inventive forms that George E. Ohr would soon use.

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, Chelsea Keramic Art Works (1872–1889), Earthenware, American

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