Frank Lloyd Gallery - Modern and Contemporary Ceramic Art   current exhibit archive news artists publications about contact home
Toshiko Takaezu (b. 1929), born in Hawaii of Japanese descent, has been working in clay for over forty years.Her work has developed steadily throughout her career as she has moved from producing functional vessels to abstract sculptural forms.Over the years she has continued to draw on a combination of Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics, as well as her love of the natural world.For Takaezu, the practice of building vessels in clay is intimately linked to everyday life:

“In my life I see no difference between making pots, cooking, and growing vegetables.They are all so related.However there is a need for me to work in clay.It is so gratifying and I get so much joy from it, and it gives me many answers in my life.”

Throughout her career, Takaezu has explored a select repertoire of forms, often focusing on the vertical closed vessel that has become a symbol of her work.While her earlier pieces were almost exclusively wheel-thrown, as she began envisioning larger forms she incorporated hand building techniques as well, which allowed her to grow her vessels vertically and eased the circular restrictions of the wheel.The simple, cohesive structures she is now well known for are united by their common form but gain individual character through the painterly aspects of their surface decoration. Takaezu’s spontaneous approach to glazing, in which she walks around the vessel freely applying glaze through pouring and painting, balances her more methodical building process and allows her to add an improvisational element to her work.

Another important aspect of Takaezu’s involvement in clay has been her roll as a teacher.Her love for clay is infectious, and she has shared it in many forms.In addition to her 23 years of teaching at Princeton and the many workshops she has performed, she has given her time to generations of apprentices.The many awards and honors she has received, from the Hawaii Living Treasure Award to her honorary doctorate degree from the University of Princeton, demonstrate the wide range of people and institutions that find inspiration, history, and meaning in her work and life.


Honolulu Academy of Arts – Honolulu
University of Hawaii – Honolulu
Cranbrook Academy of Arts, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Museum Collections

Arizona State University, Tempe
Bank of Hawaii, Honolulu
Baltimore Museum, Maryland
Boise Art Association, Idaho
Boston Fine Arts Museum
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Charles H. MacNider Museum, Mason City, Iowa
Cleveland Art Association, Cleveland, Ohio
Contemporary Arts Gallery, Honolulu
Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Delaware Art Center, Wilmington, Delaware
DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana
The Detroit Institute of Art
Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti
Edinboro State University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York
Honolulu Academy of Arts
Illinois State University, Normal
Indiana State University, Indiana, Pennsylvania
JMB Realty, Chicago
Johnson Wax Collection, Racine, Wisconsin
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Michigan State University at Oakland, Rochester
Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin
Murray State College, Murray, Kentucky
Museum of Arts and Design, New York
Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York
Muskegon Museum, Muskegon, Michigan
National Museum, Bangkok, Thailand
Newark Museum of Art, Newark, New Jersey
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey
Ohio State University, Columbus
Peabody Museum, Nashville
Philadelphia Museum of Art
St. Paul Gallery, St. Paul, Minnesota
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Springfield Museum, Springfield, Missouri
Summit Association, Edison, New Jersey
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio
Trout Art Gallery, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
University of New Hampshire, Durham
Utah State College, Logan
University of Northern Illinois, Dekalb
Warner Lambert Company World Headquarters – Morristown, New Jersey
Wustum Museum of Fine Art, Racine, Wisconsin

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2004          Toshiko Takaezu: Poetry in Clay, Philadelphia Museum of Art
2003          Ohr-O’Keefe Museums
2001          Recent Work, Charles A. Wuston Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, Wisconsin
1997          Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
                 Retrospective, American Craft Museum, New York
                 Charles Cowles Gallery, New York
1996          Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana
                 Florida Community College South Gallery, Jacksonville
1995          Retrospective, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan
1994          Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois
                 40 Year Survey, Perimeter Gallery, Chicago
                 The Cranbrook Years, Habatat/Shaw Gallery, Farmington Hills, Michigan
                 Longhouse Foundation, East Hampton, New York
                 Forum for Contemporary Art, St. Louis, Missouri
1993          Maveety Gallery, Portland
                 Charles Cowles Gallery, New York
                 Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, Michigan
                 A Teacher’s Influence, Elsa Mott Ives Gallery, New York
                 Honolulu Academy of Arts
                 Honolulu Museum of Modern Art
1992          Toshiko Takaezu: Recent Work, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Morris                  Gallery, Philadelphia
1991          Chicago International New Art Forms Exposition
1990-91     Toshiko Takaezu: Four Decades, organized by the Montclair Art
                 Museum, Montclair, New Jersey; traveled to the Allentown Art Museum,
                 Allentown, Pennsylvania and the Cranbrook Academy of Arts,
                 Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1990          Toshiko Takaezu – 1989-1990, The Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton,                  New Jersey
                 Perimeter Gallery, Chicago
1989          Pewabic Pottery, Detroit
                 Volcano Art Center, Kamehameha School, Honolulu
                 University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Conneticut
1988          University of Southern Illinois, Edwardsville
                 Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida
1987          Perimeter Gallery, Chicago
1975-85     Florida Junior College
1983          Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
                 Community College of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
1981          Belks Art Gallery, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina
1980          Contemporary Craft Center, Portland
1974          Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania
1973          Hunterdon Art Center, Clinton, New Jersey
1972          Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York
1971          Lewis & Clark College, Portland
                 Boise Art Association, Idaho
1968          Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
1966          Contemporary Art Center of Hawaii, Honolulu
1965          Society of Art & Crafts, Boston
                 Indiana State University, Terre Haute
                 Gallery 100, Princeton, New Jersey
1962          State University College of Education, Oneonta, New York
1960          Michigan State University at Oakland, Rochester, Michigan
1959          Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
1955          University of Wisconsin, Madison
                 Bonniers, New York