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Crystalline Low Vase

20th century
Medium & Support
Crystalline glaze stoneware
Overall: 4 3/8 x 5 1/2 in.
Object Type
Credit Line
Museum purchase
Accession Number

Small crystalline glaze vase with exterior colors of tan brown, white, and blue. Pink glazed interior.

Label History

Pisgah Forest Pottery Walter B. Stephen Clinton, IA 1875–1961 Asheville, NC Vase, 1941 Crystalline glazed stoneware Museum purchase, 2018.23.04

Exhibition Title: Intersections in American Art
Label Date: 11/2019
Type: Object Label
Written by: Whitney Richardson

Architecture in Asheville & Art Pottery Three architects shaped the look of Asheville. The two earliest came to the area to work for George Vanderbilt at the Biltmore Estate in the 1890s. Richard Sharp Smith went on to design the Arts and Crafts-style Biltmore Village in 1895 and Rafael Guastavino brought with him a structural tile company whose work is highlighted at the Estate and at St. Lawrence Basilica, built in 1909. The third architect, Douglas D. Ellington, arrived in the mid-1920s and revolutionized the look of Asheville with his Art Deco City Building and S&W Cafeteria. Art pottery was first introduced to the American market at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia. Often functional, but always decorative, art pottery was adopted by local and national potteries alike. Seen here are some of the finest makers of the first quarter of the 20th century, including Western North Carolina’s Pisgah Forest Pottery and Omar Khayyam Pottery. Decorative glass, like the work by Louis Comfort Tiffany, was also new to America and very popular.

Exhibition Title: Intersections in American Art
Label Date: 11/2019
Type: Extended Chat
Written by: Whitney Richardson

Walter B. Stephen began making and selling pottery in Tennessee with his mother in the early 1900s at their company called Nonconnah Pottery. By 1926 he had opened his own company, Pisgah Forest Pottery, in Arden, NC. There, he continued the style of pottery taught to him by his mother—known as cameo— which is raised porcelain decoration. The glazes developed and used by Stephen reflect the colors of the Western North Carolina sunset. Stephen continuously experimented with his glazes and in the process discovered what became known as crystalline glaze, as seem on this work. Pisgah Forest Pottery was very popular with Asheville tourists wanting to bring home a souvenier.

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Whitney Richardson

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

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