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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Karen Karnes (1925; USA)
Lot # 170 - Karen Karnes (1925; USA)
Tulip Vase
ca 1992
Glazed Stoneware; ht. 9, wd. 5.5 in.
Artist stamp at foot.
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Betty Woodman (1930, USA)
Lot # 152 - Betty Woodman (1930, USA)
Tall Vessel, 1978
ht. 5.25, dia. 4.5 inches
Artist stamp on foot
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Miner Library: [BRITISH] Derby Porcelain 
Lot # 519 - Miner Library: [BRITISH] Derby Porcelain 
British, includes four books on Derby Porcelain:

John Twitchett, Derby Porcelain
F. Brayshaw Gilhespy, Derby Porcelain
Dennis G. Rice, Derby Porcelain: The Golden Years 1750-1770
H.G. Bradley, ed., Ceramics of Derbyshire, 1750-1975.
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Blown Glass Goblets
Lot # 164 - Blown Glass Goblets
Pair of Amethyst Glass Goblets 
Tallest: ht. 8.5, dia. 4 inches
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Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011; USA)
Lot # 30 - Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011; USA)
Mask Form ca 1995
Glazed stoneware, ht. 3.5 in. x dia. 10 in.; incised signature on base; acquired directly for artist.
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Shoji Hamada (1894-1978; Japan)
Lot # 80 - Shoji Hamada (1894-1978; Japan)
Square Vase with Decoration 
Stoneware; ht. 9.75, wd. 4.75, dp. 4.75 in.

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James Makins (1946, USA)
Lot # 79 - James Makins (1946, USA)
Large Grey Bowl, ca 1979
ht. 7.75, dia. 13 inches

A richly subtle large unglazed grey porcelain bowl with visible finger marks of the maker.
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Kurt Weiser (1950; USA)
Lot # 37 - Kurt Weiser (1950; USA)
Untitled Lidded Jar ca 1980
Raku glazed earthenware, ht. 17.5 in. x dia. 17 in.; signed on foot. 
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Anne Kraus (1956-2003; USA)
Lot # 88 - Anne Kraus (1956-2003; USA)
Pair of Cups and Saucers
ca 1983-84
Whiteware with under glaze
Green Cup and Saucer; ht. 3.5, dia. 6 in. 
Yellow Cup and Saucer; ht. 2.75, dia. 6 in.  
Each cup and saucer with Artist signature.

Kraus studied at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. B.A. 1978, Painting; 1982, Greenwich House Pottery, New York; 1984, Alfred University, Alfred, NY, B.F.A., Ceramics. Awards: The New Jersey State Council of the Arts Award, 1988. Collections of her work are included in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Houston Museum of Fine Art, the Newark Museum, Carnegie Museum, Everson Museum of Art, the International Ceramic Museum, Shigaraki, Japan and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Kraus continued her love of painting, creating narrative scenes on vessels. On a single artwork there are many different images together with meticulously printed text. Together they explore stories depict man's tenuous balance between reality and the unknown, a psychological state that Kraus mined in all her work.
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Sergei Isupov (1963, Russia)
Lot # 141 - Sergei Isupov (1963, Russia)
Whiteware; ht. 22, wd. 8, dp. 6.5 in.
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Alev Ebuzziya Siesbye (1938, Turkey/France)
Lot # 47 - Alev Ebuzziya Siesbye (1938, Turkey/France)
Exceptional Untitled Turquoise Form 
ca 2002
Stoneware; ht. 9.25, dia. 10 in. 
Artist signature incised on base. 

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Agamograph by Yaacov Agam
Lot # 248 - Agamograph by Yaacov Agam
Yaacov Agam (Israeli, b. 1928).  Mixed media, dubbed an "Agamograph" by the artist, dedicated in margin and dated 82; 13 x 15 in. (sight).
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<i>His Own Eclipse</i> by Peter Max
Lot # 225 - His Own Eclipse by Peter Max
Peter Max (American/German b. 1937). Colored screenprint, signed l.r., numbered 69/250 l.l.; 19 x 27 in. (sight).
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Betty Woodman (1930, USA)
Lot # 236 - Betty Woodman (1930, USA)
Terra Sigillata Teapot 
Earthenware; ht. 9, dia. 7 in.
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Peter Voulkos (1924-2002, USA)
Lot # 53 - Peter Voulkos (1924-2002, USA)
ca 1961-62
Stoneware; ht. 9, wd. 10 in.

This is an important work, an early prototype for Voulkos’ later champagne buckets. It was a gift to the current owner from the artist himself. Giving the pot away was an example of Voulkos’ often spontaneous generosity. During an art tour in the mid 1970s lead by Kansas City dealer Myra Morgan, Voulkos used the piece to hold names and awarded the lucky winner an unfinished pot. (The piece was eventually fired and sent to the winner.) Then to everyone’s surprise he handed the piece to its current owner saying, “It's yours.” The work is neither signed nor dated but its authenticity is not in doubt. It is from Voulkos’ Abstract Expressionist period (1957-1964) and judging by the glazes being used, the type of foot and general handling of the clay and throwing, is likely to have been made around 1961-62. The exaggerated throwing rings, the asymmetrical rim, the splash of blue glaze all contribute to the pot’s dynamism and almost frenzied energy of this work.

References: To see other work from this period see both:

Slivka, Rose. Peter Voulkos: A Dialogue with Clay. Boston and New York: New York Graphic Society, 1978.

________. Peter Voulkos Retrospective. Tokyo: Sezon Museum of Art, 1995.
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William Marshall (1923-2007; Britain)
Lot # 19 - William Marshall (1923-2007; Britain)
Large Round Vase with Blossom Design
ca 2004
Slip decorated stoneware; ht. 14.5, 12.5 in. 
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Tony Marsh (1954; USA)
Lot # 71 - Tony Marsh (1954; USA)
Perforated Vessel ca 1990
Porcelain: dia. 20.25 in.

Marsh studied at Shimaoka Pottery with Tatsuzo Shimaoka whom Japan named a Living National Treasure in 1996 (see lot 4). From 1978 to 1981 Marsh worked for Shimaoka as a student and apprentice. However when it came to his own vision he did not follow the Japanese style. Rather he made his vessels transparent, opening up their volume with thousands of carefully placed hand drilled holes. Marsh is currently the chair of ceramics, California State University in Long Beach.
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Roseville Cabinet Vases and Squat Bowl
Lot # 67 - Roseville Cabinet Vases and Squat Bowl
Group of Four Roseville Vessels
Three cabinet vases (Velmoss, Zephyr Lily and Baneda) and Clemantis squat bowl
Ceramic; largest vase: ht. 6.5, dia. 4 in., Bowl: ht. 4, dia. 11 in.
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David Shaner (1934-2002, USA)
Lot # 32 - David Shaner (1934-2002, USA)
Black Vessel with Handles
Stoneware; ht. 13.5, dia. 14 in.

Clark, Garth. American Ceramics: 1876 to the Present. Abbeville Press, NY 1987. This work is illustrated on page 172.
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Julian Stair (1955; Britain)
Lot # 82 - Julian Stair (1955; Britain)
Pair of Tea Bowls with Base
ca 2004
ht. 4, wd. 7.25, dp. 3.75 in. (cups ht. 2.5, dia. 3 in.)
Artist stamps on the base of each piece.
Stair has exhibited internationally over the last 30 years and has work in over twenty public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Council, Museum of Arts and Design, NY, Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Boymans Museum, Netherlands.
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