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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Janice Tchalenko (1942, Britain)
Lot # 133 - Janice Tchalenko (1942, Britain)
Large Jug, 1984
ht. 9, wd. 6.75, dp. 5.75 inches

Janice Tchalenko is one of the most imaginative colorists to emerge from the postmodern British studio pottery scene and an exceptional thrower. Painters, especially Matisse, have also been influential in developing her distinctive palette. She pioneered a major change in British studio functional ceramics breaking from the dominant oriental influence. Her collaboration with Dartington Pottery began in 1984, allowing her, aside from her unique work shown here, to design new tableware. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Art (1987) among other honors.

Shown: Vessels I Like to Look At and Sometimes Like to Use, curated by Michael Casson, Westminster Gallery, UK, 1984. 
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Weller Pottery Group
Lot # 73 - Weller Pottery Group
Group of Seven Weller Pottery vessels; includes Pair of Candlesticks 
Ceramic; tallest vase: ht. 9, dia. 5.5 in.
Patterns include:Manhattan vase, Fleron vase and Cornish vase and bowl
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Richard DeVore (1933-2006, USA)
Lot # 35 - Richard DeVore (1933-2006, USA)
Early Lidded Vessel
Stoneware; ht. 5.75, dia. 10 in.

Made at Cranbrook Academy, Michigan.
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Miner Library: [BRITISH] Chelsea China and Pottery 
Lot # 516 - Miner Library: [BRITISH] Chelsea China and Pottery 
British, includes six books on Chelsea China and Pottery:

Reginald Blunt, ed., Chelsea China and Pottery
John C. Austin, Chelsea Porcelain at Williamsburg
Yvonne Hackenbrooch, Chelsea and Other Englsh Porcelain
Elizabeth Adams, Chelsea Porcelain
Margaret Legge, Flowers and Fables: A Survey of Chinese Porcelain, 1745-69
Elizabeth Adams, Chelsea Porcelain.
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<i>Schneider</i> Cameo Glass Vase
Lot # 265 - Schneider Cameo Glass Vase
French, early 20th century. A Schneider cameo glass vase with bluish-red to orange overlay acid-etched in the Groseilles pattern against a yellow ground, engraved Le Verre Français on base; ht. 7 in.
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Robert Turner (1913-2005; USA)
Lot # 23 - Robert Turner (1913-2005; USA)
High Square ca 1980
Stoneware: ht. 10 in. x wd. 8 in. x 8 in.

Reference: Similar work illustrated Marsha Miro and Tony Hepburn Robert Turner: Shaping Silence: A Life in Clay, Tokyo and New York, Kodansha International, 2003 p, 42.
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Karen Karnes (1925; USA)
Lot # 24 - Karen Karnes (1925; USA)
Split Winged Vessel ca 1991
Wood-Fired stoneware: ht. 7 in. x wd. 27 in. x dp. 13.5; artist's stamp on foot, produced in Morgan VT.

Reference: Mark Shapiro (ed) A Chosen Path: The Ceramics of Karen Karnes, Phoenix, UNC Press, 2010. See page 130 for a similar example.
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Mies Van Der Rohe, Barcelona Chairs
Lot # 133 - Mies Van Der Rohe, Barcelona Chairs
Designed by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe for Knoll International. Brown tufted leather on polished steel frames, with original Knoll tag with delivery date 5/29/1969. Knoll International Sticker on underside of base; ht. 29, wd. 30, dp. 30 in.
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Kurt Weiser (1950; USA)
Lot # 44 - Kurt Weiser (1950; USA)
Sepia Double Handled Urn
ca 2011
Porcelain; ht. 23, dia. 11.25 in.
Artist signature on base.

A virtuosic example of Weiser's china painting skills in sepia tone. Weiser is Professor of art and directs the ceramic department at Arizona State University, Tempe. He was a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute where he studied under Ken Ferguson. Before moving to Tempe, he was the director of the Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, Montana.

Sale to benefit the Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramic Research Center, Tempe, AZ.
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Abstract Lithograph, by Paul Jenkins
Lot # 376 - Abstract Lithograph, by Paul Jenkins
Paul Jenkins (American, 1923-2012). An untitled abstract colored lithograph. Signed l.r.; 20.5 x 26 in. (sight)
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Chuck Hindes (1942; USA)
Lot # 19 - Chuck Hindes (1942; USA)
Basket with Twisted Handle
Stoneware; ht. 13.5, wd. 7.5, dp. 8 in.
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Milton Avery (1885-1965; USA)
Lot # 129 - Milton Avery (1885-1965; USA)
Set of Six Ceramic Plates
ca 1964
Stoneware with transfer decoration; dia. 10.75 in. 
Artist signed in decal and edition size 30 printed on reverse. 

Milton Avery was born in 1895 and studied at the Connecticut League of Art Students in Hartford under Charles Noel Flagg and at the Art Society School there under Albertus Jones. As the American upholder of Henri Matisse's coloristic doctrine, Avery developed the French artist's decorative surfaces into subtly toned color zones, thus breaking the ground for the Color Field painting of Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, both of whom were friends. Classical motifs and subject matter in portraits, still life and coastal landscapes were his main thematic areas and genres. A prolific painter, graphic artist and ceramist, Milton Avery received numerous awards from American art institutions before he died in 1965 but only became widely famous retrospectively, acclaimed as one of the most influential of American 20th-century painters. 

These plates were made in 1964 for a limited edition ceramics project for Art In America Magazine, curated and directed by Cleve Gray. Artists included in the project were David Smith, Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Nevelson, Ben Shahn and others. Almost none of the editions were completed beyond the first prototypes. The work was on exhibition at American Federation of Arts Gallery, New York from November 30 through December 11, 1964. Thereafter they were shown at museums across the US. Avery made six ceramic plates in a planned edition of 30, produced at the Delano Studio. This is the first and only full set of plates to have been found since the project was created.

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Albert Green (1914-1994; USA)
Lot # 14 - Albert Green (1914-1994; USA)
Large Rectangular Bottle in White, Blue and Brown
ca 1986-94
Stoneware; ht. 18.5, wd. 7.25, dp. 3.75 in.
Signed Green on base. 
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Beatrice Wood (1893-1998; USA)
Lot # 102 - Beatrice Wood (1893-1998; USA)
Small Crater Vase
ca 1968
Earthenware; ht. 4, dia. 4.5 in. 
Artist BEATO signature on base.

Wood created numerous glazes, most notably her lusters but in the early years she experimented with many surfaces and did manage to control the "crater" surface among other glazes. This small but beautiful example is a clear understanding of the amazing surfaces she could create.
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Jonathan Keep (1958; Johannesburg, SA)
Lot # 67 - Jonathan Keep (1958; Johannesburg, SA)
Double Vessel
ca 2002
Stoneware, ht. 25.5, wd. 38, dp. 18 in. 
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Kurt Weiser (1950; USA)
Lot # 132 - Kurt Weiser (1950; USA)
Untitled Vessel
ca 1984
Glazed molded porcelain; ht. 16, wd. 11, dp. 7 in.

Reference: Exhibited on the traveling exhibition Eden Revisited: The Ceramic Art of Kurt Weiser (2008-2010) organized by the Museum of Art, University of Arizona, Phoenix and illustrated in the accompanying book on page 23.
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Richard Batterham (1936, Britain)
Lot # 34 - Richard Batterham (1936, Britain)
Pair of Tall Baluster Vases
ca 2001-06
Glazed stoneware, each ht. 31, dia. 13.5 in.
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Leza McVey (1907-1984; USA)
Lot # 17 - Leza McVey (1907-1984; USA)
Tri-footed Bottle with Stopper
ca 1965
Glazed Ceramic; ht. 7, dia. 3 in.
Artist signature on base
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Large Jardiniere in Matte Green Glaze
Elsa Rady (1943-2011; USA)
Lot # 89 - Elsa Rady (1943-2011; USA)
Copper Red Bowl with Scalloped Edge
Porcelain; ht. 2.25, dia. 6.75 in. 
Incised signature Elsa and date on base.

These cut wing bowls by Rady are amongst the most distinctive signature objects of the 1980s. Rady was a student of Ralph Bacerra at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and has worked for most of her career in porcelain. Rady passed away in 2011.

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