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Form #1

Robert Turner, American, 1913 - 2005

Made in Alfred, New York, United States, North and Central America


Glazed stoneware

Height (approximately): 9 inches (22.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with funds contributed by The Women’s Committee and the Craft Show Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1981

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In 1949, Robert Turner founded the pottery studio at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. The college's open philosophy found expression in his experimental approach to ceramics, which mirrored contemporary artistic movements like Abstract Expressionism. After throwing a pot, Turner altered its contours and surface in unexpected ways. Applied strips that he called "squashed geometry," as seen on Form #1, were allowed to sag and settle, revealing the weight of wet clay. After a trip to Africa in 1971, Turner further emphasized weightiness in his vessels, mimicking the form of cisterns with tall necks and broad bases.