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Viola Frey

American
(1933–2004)

Urn
1974

Porcelain
10.25 x 11 x 10.5 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation
1984.1463

Frey presented Noni with Urn at the opening of the Noni Eccles Treadwell Ceramic Art Center at the California College of the Arts and Crafts in 1974. Treadwell received this dedication pot for her seminal role in the building of the center. The large porcelain vessel, with its delicate folds encircling the foot and rim, features an intimate panoramic scene of the new CCAC pottery shop, reflecting the casual and convivial atmosphere of the studio.

Frey was born in Lodi, California, in 1933. At CCAC, she earned her BFA, studying painting with Richard Diebenkorn and ceramics with Vernon Coykendall and Charles Fiske. In 1956–57 she worked with Mark Rothko and George Rickey at Tulane University in New Orleans. After a sojourn in New York, Frey returned to the Bay Area in 1960, where she taught color and light classes in the CCAC painting department. She became a full-time ceramics professor, and was an influential faculty member until her retirement in 1999. Frey is considered by many to be one of the most important female ceramic artists of the late twentieth century.

Bolton Colburn
Sara Morris


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