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Eunice Prieto


Lidded Jar

4.375 x 4.75 x 4.75 in.
Gift of Richard A. Harrison

Prieto had expertise with a variety of thrown forms. Her medley of small-scale covered jars in the museum’s collection illustrates her proficiency with various clay bodies and glazes. This essentially raw-clay Lidded Jar with three raised feet and a glossy red interior glaze is an example of her experimentation with covered jars in the 1960s. The golden stoneware clay body acts as a canvas for impromptu abstract brushstrokes.

Eunice Adams Prieto was the youngest of two sisters who grew up on a farm outside of Spencerport, New York, on the Erie Canal. Though she was small in stature, her nickname was “Amazon Adams,” and her capacity for hard work of all kinds carried her through many challenges. On the farm as a youth she drove tractors and combines. She attended Alfred University in New York, where she met her future husband, Spanish-born Antonio Prieto. They settled in the Bay Area, where she taught ceramics at a number of community sites and college programs, while raising four sons and exhibiting her ceramics frequently. In 1968, she earned her MFA at California College of the Arts and Crafts. The Prietos lived on the campus at Mills College in Oakland, where their home was a center for a community of artists. Though ceramics was her lifelong primary art form, Eunice also worked in enamel and painted. She took over her husband’s classes at Mills for a period after he died in 1967. In the 1970s, Eunice and her sons relocated to West Oakland, where they established Prieto Studios, which still exists today.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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