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Beatrice Wood


Double Bottle

Earthenware with luster glaze
7.25 x 11 x 4.5 in. (18.415 x 27.94 x 11.43 cm)
Gift of Nora Eccles Harrison

Beatrice Wood specialized in luster glazes and created vessels that often spoke of the ancient past and of arid deserts and exotic temples. Her lusters varied from rich golden tones to mysterious iridescent effects, always enhancing the vessel which it covered but somehow also maintaining its own life. While she also created witty and whimsical sculptural pieces, it was for her vessels that Wood was so rightly famous. This Double Bottle form, with its typical lustered surface, has a wonderful feeling of volume; its bulbous spheres seem ready to burst with life. The addition of the sculptural form which unites these spheres makes a seemly combination of the two motifs with which she was continually involved—the vessel and the figure.

Wood was born in San Francisco, California. She attended the University of Southern California and the Academy Julian in Giverny, France. She studied theater and dance in Paris in 1916. While there, she met the French-American artist and theorist Marcel Duchamp, who became an influence on her life. She studied ceramics with Glen Lukens, a leading artist and teacher in California, and then with Gertrude and Otto Natzler, who had settled in Los Angeles after leaving their native Vienna. Wood traveled extensively and was especially influenced by the culture of India. She maintained a home and studio in Ojai, California, where she continued to work until her death at age 105.


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