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Frank Boyden

American, b. 1942

Birth of a Bird

Earthenware and porcelain
19.25 x 10.625 x 10.625 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Frank Boyden’s work displays the influence of his surroundings, where his studio overlooks the ocean from a nature preserve in Oregon. Like many ceramic artists who were first painters, Boyden’s ware soon became a canvas for his drawings. First the drawings were just that, marks in the clay, but very quickly he became fascinated with the possibilities that carvings combined with glazing and firing could enhance and accentuate the finished piece—which is exactly the case with Birth of a Bird. The artist enlivens his pots with his drawings of the animals he observes, hoping to inspire his viewers to follow the animal’s movements around the vessel.

Born, raised, and still living and working in Oregon, Frank Boyden’s life and work have been intimately bound with the landscape and wildlife of his coastal world. He received his Bachelor of Arts at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, followed by Yale University where he studied painting and art history, earning both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and an Master of Fine Arts in 1968. Following graduation, he became head of the art history department at the University of New Mexico, where he shared studio space with ceramic artists. Encouraged by them, Boyden tried his hand at clay and found he enjoyed it. He is also a noted bronze sculptor and printmaker, working in aquatints, dry points, etchings and lithographs.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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