November 06, 2010 08:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


Leza McVey, Ceramic Bottle with Stopper No 8.03

(1907-1984, USA)
Bottle with Stopper No 8.03, 1968
Glazed ceramic: ht. 19, wd. 6 in.

Beginning in 1949, when she first began to make and show ceramics, McVey was arguably the first American potter to aggressively pursue asymmetry. She was an informal student of Maija Grotell at the Cranbrook of Academy where her husband, William Mozart McVey, taught briefly before they returned home to Cleveland. There they built an elegant, sophisticated modern home that won the 1955 design citation from the magazine Progressive Architecture, the very environment in which her pots looked their best. Her work captured the '50s and '60s spirit - the period of the kidney-shaped coffee table.

Exhibited: When Bottle with Stopper No. 8.03 was exhibited at the prestigious Fiftieth May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1968, it was available for purchase for a modest $75. Since McVey has become one of the most sought after mid-century modern potters, her work has grown over 200% in value.

The accompanying photographs from the April 30, 1968 edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer show the Bottle being viewed by May Show jurors and then later on exhibition.

Reference: See Eidelberg, Martin. The Ceramic Forms of Leza McVey. Hudson, NY: Philmark Publishers, 2003, p. 74, where the Bottle is shown alongside a similar form from the Bruno Bischofberger Collection.

Condition:Excellent original condition.

Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000


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