Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Teapot

Maker:
George E. Ohr (American, Biloxi, Mississippi 1857–1918 Biloxi, Mississippi)
Date:
1897–1900
Geography:
Made in Biloxi, Mississippi, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Earthenware
Dimensions:
7 3/16 x 7 1/8 in. (18.3 x 18.1 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Gift of Robert A. Ellison Jr., 2017
Accession Number:
2017.357.13a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 707
In many ways George Edgar Ohr was the quintessential Arts and Crafts potter, combining artistic vision with extraordinary skill with his hands. Working in the seaside resort town of Biloxi, Mississippi, he dug the clay, processed and prepared it, threw the shape on the wheel, altered the piece according to his vision, mixed and applied his own glazes, fired the kiln, created his own style of advertising, and took his wares on the road. Ohr’s personal mantra was “no two alike,” and he was as eccentric as his work was individualistic, with its manipulated forms on ultra-thin thrown vessels, crimping, ruffling, off-centering, and twisting, to create unprecedented forms for the 1890s. To these forms, he applied his own completely new and unusual glazes, applied by sponging, splashing, and spattering, resulting in works that in many ways anticipated the abstract art movements that would find form decades later.

This unconventional teapot exhibits sophisticated sculptural qualities, its punched-in sides creating an unusual top-heavy vessel counterbalanced by an elegantly thin and contorted handle, referencing Japanese forms. It also displays a radically unusual glaze with a bubbled surface, whose blistered eruptions produced a prickly, tactile surface giving it great visual drama. Normally such blisters on a glaze are considered flaws and, indeed, this may have been accidental and unforeseen, but Ohr made it one of his special effects.
Marking: Mark on underside: G. E. OHR, / Biloxi, Miss. (impressed stamp)
Jedderman Collection (Frank Kolodny), private collector, Princeton, New Jersey; to Robert Ellison Jr.
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