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Eunice Prieto


Lidded Jar

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

Eunice Prieto demonstrated her expertise in a variety of thrown forms. Prieto’s medley of small-scale covered jars in the museum’s collection illustrates her expertise and proficiency in a variety of clay bodies, glazes, and experimentation. This essentially raw clay Lidded Jar with three raised feet exemplifies her fearless pursuit in the 1960s with covered jars. The golden stoneware clay body provides the canvas for impromptu abstract brush strokes, which next to the glossy black and rose jar and the profile face jar, exemplifies Prieto’s diverse outcomes. The interior of the raw clay jar is a bold red glossy glaze.

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 small in stature, her nickname was “Amazon Adams,” as her capacity for hard work of all kinds carried her through life’s challenges. On the farm as a young girl she drove tractors and combines. Eunice attended Alfred University in New York, where she met her future Spanish-born husband, 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. After having her sons, in 1968, she earned her Master of Fine Arts at California College of the Arts and Crafts (CCAC). The Prieto’s lived on the Mills College, Oakland, California campus where their home was a center for a community of artists, as her husband was head of the ceramics program. Though ceramics was her life-long primary art form, Eunice also enameled and painted. Eunice was a respected potter and she took over her husband’s classes at Mills for a while 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. Eunice later remarried and lived in the high basin range of western Nevada and continued with ceramics and watercolor.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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