Period: Mid Century Modern
Medium: Earthenware, matt straw glaze.
Dimensions: 6 1/8 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. (15.6 x 8.9 x 8.9 cm)
Marks: Stamped OF ETRURIA KM WEDGWOOD MADE IN ENGLAND & BARLASTON.
Classification: Decorative Arts, Ceramics
Credit Line: Gift of M. Burton Drexler. In the permanent collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Object Number: UM2013.556
Keith Murray had a huge effect on 20th century Wedgwood and this vase shows just one aspect of that influence. An architect by profession he was first employed by Wedgwood as a freelance designer in 1932 when the jazzy art deco style was giving way to the much calmer, simpler trend of modernism. By 1935, Murray had developed an extensive range of tableware and vases exhibited at venues such as the Royal Academy and John Lewis. He also designed surface patterns but it was for his attention to form that he is best celebrated. Most of his vase shapes were thrown on the wheel and turned on the lathe, in the traditional manner of the potter, giving them the solid, simplified appearance that was so popular in the 1930’s.The final touch, placing Murray firmly at the helm of modernism was the addition of matt glazes, including the one shown here, designed by Norman Wilson.