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Antonio Prieto



7.25 x 4.75 x 3.25 in.
Gift of Nora Eccles Harrison

Though “Tony” Prieto frequently favored abstract, modern surface designs on elegantly thrown pots, this sophisticated slender pitcher relies on classic style and a subtle, earthy glaze. The short neck, pouring lip, and collar are robust evidence of the Spanish forms seen in Picasso’s pottery drawings. Picasso was among the artists Prieto visited during many trips to Spain, and his influence is visible here.

Prieto immigrated to the United States as a child in 1916. He enrolled in a fine arts school in San Francisco before serving in the Army during World War Two. When the war ended, he was accepted by Alfred University (known for their ceramics program) in Alfred, New York, though he had no formal training in ceramics. After two years at Alfred, Prieto accepted a position at California College of Arts and Crafts (now CCA), replacing Marguerite Wildenhain. In 1950, he followed Carlton Ball as head of the ceramics program at Mills College in Oakland. Prieto successfully linked the formal traditions of Alfred with the explosion of self-expression in clay that followed World War Two, teaching at Mills until his death in 1967.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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