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Robert Winokur

American, b. 1933

Blue-Gold Tall Weed Vase
circa 1976

13.25 x 7.5 x 5.75 in.
Museum Permanent Collection

Robert Winokur’s Blue-Gold Tall Weed Vase is a wheel-thrown stoneware vessel that is cylindrical through the majority of the form with a sharply tapered neck and exaggerated open rim. Two small, hand-pulled, loop handles help to delineate the point at which the vessel transitions from the belly of the pot to the neck of the pot. With distinct sections of golden-brown and variegated blue hues, the applied glaze reveals the textured surface of the pot beneath, which is where the signature style of Winokur’s work is truly on display. By preserving the throwing lines, adding gestural marks carved into the surface with a wooden tool and leaving the impressions of his fingertips in the soft, freshly-thrown surface, Winokur embraces the materiality of the clay and celebrates the potential for spontaneity inherent in the medium.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, Winokur developed a keen interest in ceramics during his high school art classes. He pursued these interests at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1956 and went on the earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, New York, in 1958. That same year Robert married fellow ceramic artist Paula Colton Winokur and together they shared a studio for more than fifty years. Winokur returned to Tyler in 1966 to become professor of ceramics, and later the department chair, until he retired as professor emeritus in 2005. Robert Winokur’s dedication to ceramic research and education lead to numerous awards both nationally and internationally, making him an important figure in the development of 20th century American ceramics.

Ayla Murray

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