Arthur E. Baggs American
Manufacturer Alfred University

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

The Marblehead Pottery started out as part of a therapeutic program at a clinic for women suffering from nervous disorders, founded by Dr. Henry J. Hall in 1905. Patients were to benefit from the practice of handwork in different media, but it was the pottery that was the longest lasting enterprise. Hall hired the young Arthur E. Baggs, a student of Charles F. Binns at the New York State School of Clay-Working and Ceramics at Alfred, to lead the ceramics operations in the coastal town. This vase is one of the few examples known that can be documented to Baggs’s work in Alfred as a Binns student. Tt is beautifully potted, and relies on the refinement and simplicity of its glazes for decoration. At Marblehead, the therapeutic workshop for convalescing patients soon gave way to an independent pottery operated by Baggs. The predominant palette of the pottery tended toward grayed hues of green blue, and brown in soft, matte glazes in accord with the general tendencies of the Arts and Crafts style. The decorative motifs were often associated with images native to New England, and the designs adhered to the tenets of conventionalization then in vogue, with differing degrees of abstraction.

Vase, Arthur E. Baggs (1886–1947), Earthenware, American

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