Vase with gingko

Decorated by Kataro Shirayamadani American, born Japan
Manufacturer Rookwood Pottery Company American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

It was at the Rookwood Pottery that the drive toward more organic, plant-based forms found fruition in American art pottery. Whether it was a result of the general zeitgeist of 1900 or more specific influences from Europe, some Rookwood artists gradually freed their designs from the constraints of wheel-based forms and painted decoration. Kataro Shirayamadani, a Japanese decorator, led Rookwood to embrace a more organic repertoire, seen in this large vase decorated with gingko leaves and nuts. It is a thrown vase with an essentially cylindrical shape, but heavily modeled relief decoration covers and disguises the vase’s symmetrical walls. As a final touch, at the top, a branch of gingko extends upward, beyond the lip, creating an organic silhouette. This small organic gesture parallels ideas in French Art Nouveau pottery.

Vase with gingko, Decorated by Kataro Shirayamadani (American (born Japan), Tokyo 1865–1948 Cleveland, Ohio), Earthenware, American

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