Modern Ceramics

Cowan's has partnered with Garth Clark and Mark DelVecchio, internationally renowned dealers, authors, and scholars, to present semi-annual Modern Ceramics Auctions. These are the first regular auctions in the United States focused solely on modern and contemporary ceramics.

Department Director

Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio, Directors

Contact Information
We are always accepting exceptional consignments.
Contact Maureen Buri at

Garth Clark
Garth Clark is the author of over 50 books and 250 essays on 20th century and contemporary ceramics. He has received numerous honors for his work including being made a Fellow the Royal College of Art, London and honorary doctorates from Staffordshire University in Britain and the Kansas City Art Institute among others. In 2005 he was the recipient of the College Art Association's Mather Award for distinguished art journalism. In 1981, together with Mark Del Vecchio he founded the Garth Clark Gallery in Los Angeles and then New York, and Kansas City. In 2007 the gallery was closed and a new entity Clark+DelVecchio, private dealers, was formed in Santa Fe, NM.

Mark DelVecchio
Mark DelVecchio is the author of the highly-acclaimed "Post Modern Ceramics". He has received the Visionaries award from the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, a lifetime achievement award from the Friends of Contemporary Ceramics and an honorary doctorate from the Kansas City Art Institute. He has directed the Garth Clark Gallery since 1981 overseeing the presentation of more than six hundred exhibitions during the life of the gallery.  Together with Dawn Bennett and Garth Clark he organized the massive Ceramic Millennium Conference in Amsterdam in 1999 that attracted 56 national delegations and 3,500 attendees. He is now director of Clark+DelVecchio in Santa Fe, NM.


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John Cheney Wood (American, 1922-2012)
Lot # 156 - John Cheney Wood (American, 1922-2012)
signed in pencil l.r.
from an edition of 20 
21.25 x 30 in. (sheet size)

John Cheney Wood received a degree in Visual Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1954. He has had a major impact on the practice of photography and printmaking since the 1960s. In addition to teaching at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University, he participated in numerous exhibitions. Wood had a major retrospective of his work in 2009 which was exhibited at the Eastman House, Grey Art Gallery and the International Center for Photography. 
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<i>Schneide Pierrot</i> Series Glass Vase
Lot # 262 - Schneide Pierrot Series Glass Vase
French, ca 1928. A Schneider Pierrot series glass vase of globular form, having randomly placed amethyst ovals acid-etched against a rough ground, the ground color shifting from clear at the rim to pink at the base, juxtaposed with clear wheel-carved circles scattered throughout the body to act as windows, rising on a circular foot of amethyst color, engraved Schneider on the edge of the base and France on the underside; ht. 13.5 in.
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Otmar Cabinet
Lot # 324 - Otmar Cabinet
American, 20th century. A walnut display cabinet in two pieces, by Otmar of Cincinnati. Features two lower cabinets with a shelving system, and an upper shelving system behind glass; ht. 64.5, wd. 72, dp. 19 in.
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Robert Arneson (1930-1992, USA)
Lot # 78 - Robert Arneson (1930-1992, USA)
Blue and White Self-Portrait
ca 1980
ht. 7, wd. 4.25, dp. 3 in.
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Potters' Market: David Leach Three Faceted Bowls 
Lot # 256 - Potters' Market: David Leach Three Faceted Bowls 
(1911-2005, Japan)

ca 1988

Signed, stoneware, tallest: 6 in.

From the Collection of Dorothy Miner.
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Betty Woodman (1930, USA)
Lot # 159 - Betty Woodman (1930, USA)
Set of Five Tea Bowls, 1978
Raku Earthenware
Each: ht. 2.75, dia. 4 inches
Artist stamp on foot of each
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 <i>The Garden</i> by Stephen Greene
Lot # 260 - The Garden by Stephen Greene
Stephen Greene (American, 1917-1999).  Oil on canvas, signed l.l., dated 1985 on verso, with additional biographical and bibliographical information; 60 x 50 in.

"Stephen Greene at Marilyn Pearl," Art in America (April, 1986), 188-189 (pictured, 189).
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Elaine Alt (USA)
Lot # 1 - Elaine Alt (USA)
ht.13.5, wd.12.25 inches

Elaine Alt's work combines gilt accents with matt finishes on whimsical forms. 
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Alan Wallwork (1931, England)
Lot # 234 - Alan Wallwork (1931, England)
Urchin Pot
Ceramic; ht. 3.5, dia. 5.5 in.
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Still Life with Apples by Mary Gallagher
Lot # 385 - Still Life with Apples by Mary Gallagher
Mary Gallagher (American, b. 1953).  Oil on canvas, signed l.l.; 18 x 12 in. (sight).
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Dominick Labino Glass Forms
Lot # 164 - Dominick Labino Glass Forms
Dominick Labino (American, 1910-1987). Two glass pieces including a sculpture and a pitcher, each inscribed Labino,and dated 1992 and 2-1972; largest ht. 6, wd. 5 in.
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Bauer Pottery Ringware Jade Casserole
Lot # 288 - Bauer Pottery Ringware Jade Casserole
Ringware lidded casserole in jade with wood/copper carrier
ht. 3, dia. 7 in.
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Robert Turner (1913-2005; USA)
Lot # 40 - Robert Turner (1913-2005; USA)
Large Bowl
ca 1958
Stoneware; ht. 4, dia. 12.25 in.
Artist signature on base.

Born in Port Washington, New York, Turner attended Swarthmore College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1936. He then studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1949. Turner established the studio pottery program at Black Mountain College in North Carolina between 1949-51. In 1958, he joined the Alfred University faculty where he remained until his retirement as Professor Emeritus of Ceramic Art in 1979.
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<i>Little Murders (Cup on Fire)</i> by Margaret Nielsen
Lot # 115 - Little Murders (Cup on Fire) by Margaret Nielsen
Margaret Nielsen (American, b. 1948).  Gouache on board, fully inscribed on verso Cup /  Margaret Nielsen / 1980 gouache on board / from the series "Little Murders" / Love does not die- it suffers a series of little murders.  Also with Asher / Faure Gallery label.  7.25 x 7.25 in. (frame).
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Ron Nagle (1939, USA)
Lot # 47 - Ron Nagle (1939, USA)
Earthenware; ht. 4.75, wd 2.75, dp. 2.75 in.

In this work by Bay Area artist, Ron Nagle, one can feel, almost palpably, the influence of the pre-War and early post-War stucco houses, architecture that inform his surfaces and, to a lesser extent, his shapes. It has the rough texture of what Nagle calls “Stucco Deco”. But that is just a starting point. Just as his surfaces are layered again and again in china paint (up to twenty trips to the kiln) so too are his visual references. One sees the kind of splatter pattern that was popular in linoleum and plastic surfaces on aluminum kitchen tables during the early 1960s. The drips hark back to the Momoyama tea bowls of 16th century Japan. The palette is an almost perfect expression of postmodernism that was beginning to appear in American art when this cup was made. His approach to that surface is not unlike that of building color and depth on a hot rod. This is an important and iconic example of his art.

Exhibited: Ceramics in Conversation: 2010 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, Taipei County Yingge Ceramics Museum, 2010.

Reference: Elliot, Moyra. Ceramics in Conversation. Taipei: Taipei County Yingge Ceramics Museum, 2010.
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Claude Conover (1907-1994; USA)
Lot # 54 - Claude Conover (1907-1994; USA)
ca 1980s
Stoneware; ht. 10, wd. 14, dp. 14 in.
Artist signature and title on base.

A graduate of the Cleveland Art Institute, Conover worked for thirty years as a commercial designer before making his own ceramics. He was potting full-time by 1960 and became a favorite of the leading modern designers of the day who incorporated his work into their interiors. His stylish monumental forms with their hint of antiquity and attractive stone-like surfaces reflect Conover's fascination with the Mayan culture of Central America; lelem caanil is the Mayan name for thunder. This vessel, along with a group of others purchased directly from Conover's studio all bear Mayan names.

Reference: Nordness, Lee. Objects USA. New York: Viking Press, 1970.
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Stoneware Bowl and Vase
Lot # 181 - Stoneware Bowl and Vase
Vase; ht. 6.5, dia. 5 inches
Bowl; ht. 3.5, dia. 6.5 inches
Each unsigned
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Miner Library: [MIDDLE EAST] Middle Eastern Ceramics 
Lot # 506 - Miner Library: [MIDDLE EAST] Middle Eastern Ceramics 
Middle East, includes twelve books about generalized Middle Eastern ceramics as well as Turkish, Moroccan, and Byzantine ceramics:

two copies of Turkish Tile Art
Kurt Erdmann, Neue Arbeiten Zur Turkischen Keramik
Sarah Posey, Yemeni Pottery
Le calife, le prince et le potier
Andre Boukobza, La Poterie Marocaine
Raqqa Revisitied: Ceramics of Ayyubid Syria
John Carswell, Iznik Pottery
The Sevres Egyptian Service, 1810-1912
Sharon E. J. Gertsel and Julie A. Lauffenburger, eds., A Lost Art Rediscovered: The Architectural Ceramics of Byzantium
Charles Wilkinson, Iranian Ceramics
An Unknown Orientalist: Eastern Ceramics Collection of Miklos Zsolnay
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Dominick Labino Long Neck Glass Vases
Lot # 161 - Dominick Labino Long Neck Glass Vases
Dominick Labino (American, 1910-1987). Lot of two long neck glass vases, each inscribed Labino, and dated 1-1981 and 1965; largest ht. 10.5, dia. 3 in.
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Albert Green (1914-1994, USA)
Lot # 30 - Albert Green (1914-1994, USA)
Square Bottle
ht. 10, wd. 7, dp. 2.5 inches
Signed on base

Green developed an international reputation for his ceramics, stoneware, porcelain and paintings and lived in Westfield, N.J.
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