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The work of Harrison McIntosh (b. 1914) has a simple elegance that unites elements both ancient and modern. The Southern California artist, an early figure in the history of American ceramics, has remained loyal to his quiet, cohesive aesthetic throughout his career, stating that "simplification is a basic principle of mine, and I strive to purify and strengthen an idea." Hazel Bray, former Curator of Art at the Oakland Museum, has described the consistency and natural evolution of McIntosh’s work:

Over the years his work has accumulated a virtuosity that has become as rich as a Bach fugue in its variations upon a theme. Resisting superficial flirtations with novelty or partially realized expressions, is a mark of his strength of personal conviction and maturity...whether vessel or object, his work has become an achievement of defined limits and of nourished strengths from which new forms have gradually evolved.

McIntosh was introduced to ceramics when he enrolled in Glen Lukens’ class at the University of Southern California in 1940. He then studied at the Claremont Graduate School with Richard Petterson from 1949 through 1953, during which time he produced his first wheel thrown stoneware vessels and began to show them in exhibitions. Working with Marguerite Wildehain during the summer of 1953, he gained his first exposure to the Bauhaus aesthetic and incorporated it into his developing style. He taught the next year at Otis Art Institute, where he worked with Peter Voulkos, whose work he greatly admires to this day. It is a testament to McIntosh’s dedication to his own vision that he was able to appreciate the expressive, sculpted forms of the Otis group while remaining true to his own aesthetic pursuits.

After his time at Otis, McIntosh settled in Claremont, California, where he built a peaceful, quiet studio and home that suited his visual sensibilities and his working methods. Since then he has continued to live the life of a studio potter, occasionally punctuating his time in the studio with other projects. He has enjoyed brief teaching positions and a commission designing crystal and dinnerware with his wife Marguerite for the Mikasa company, but through it all he has remained primarily focused on developing his own work. In the 1970’s he moved gradually from the vessel into making more sculptural, closed ceramic spheres that express the same elegant refinement as his vases, bowls, and jars. Now, having completed more than half a century of work in clay, he has developed a well regarded body of work that is held in public and private collections throughout the world.


1953          Pond Farm, Guerneville, California, summer with Marguerite Wildenhain
1950          Mills College, seminar under Bernard Leach
1948-52     Claremont Graduate School, with Richard Petterson
1947          Working with Albert King (porcelain)
1940          University of Southern California, with Glen Lukens
1938          Art Center School, Los Angeles

Museum Collections

Alfred University, Museum of Ceramic Art, Alfred, New York
American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California
Arizona State University, American Collection, Tempe
Belgian Royal Collection, Ostend, Belgium
Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California
Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, California
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, Hubert A. Arnold Collection
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan
Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York
Fellecon Incorporated, Sunnyvale, California
Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, California
Haggin Museum, Stockton, California
Ikenobo Society, Kyoto, Japan
Johnson Collection of Contemporary Crafts, Racine, Wisconsin
Kiushu Museum, Kiushu, Japan
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
Mills College, Prieto Collection, Oakland, California
Mingei Museum, Karashki, Japan
Mingei Museum, San Diego, California
MOA Foundation, Los Angeles, California
Musée Des Arts Décoratifs, the Louvre, Paris
Musée National De La Céramique, Sevres, Paris
Museum of Arts and Design, New York
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey
Oakland Museum, Oakland, California
Pomona College, Claremont, California
Scripps College, Claremont, California
Smithsonian Institution, Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C.
University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah
Utah State University, Logan, Utah

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2009     A Timeless Legacy, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California
2002     Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California
1998     Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California
1992     Pewabic Pottery Gallery, Detroit, Michigan
            Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, California
1991     MOA Foundation, Los Angeles, California
1989     MOA Foundation, Los Angeles, California
1987     Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, California
1986     Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, California
1985     Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, California
1984     La Jolla Gallery Eight, La Jolla, California
            Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, California
            Haggin Museum, Stockton, California
1983     Palos Verdes Art Center, (with Sam Maloof), Rancho Palos Verdes, California
            Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, California
1982     Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, California
1981     Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, California
            Curt Wagner, Redondo Beach, California
1980     Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, California
1979     Chaffey College, Alta Loma, California (Retrospective)
            Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, California
1977     Gallery 8, Claremont, California
1976     Contempo, Westwood, California
            Abacus, Pasadena, California
1975     Nostalgia Galleries, Baltimore, Maryland
            Gallery 8, Claremont, California
1973     Wichita Art Association Gallery, Wichita, Kansas
            Griswold Art Gallery, Claremont, California
1972     Imprint Gallery, San Francisco, California
1971     Helen Winnemore’s, Columbus, Ohio
1970     Carson Pirie Scott, Chicago, Illinois
1969     The Egg and the Eye, (now Craft & Folk Art Museum) Los Angeles, California
1968     Abacus, Pasadena, California
1967     Bullocks Wilshire Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1964     Bullocks Wilshire Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1963     Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, California
            University of Redlands, Redlands, California
1962     Bullocks Wilshire Gallery, Los Angeles, California
            Abacus, Pasadena, California
1959     Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
1957     Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona