As an undergraduate at Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 1959, David Armstrong enrolled in a required art course taught by Scripps College Professor Paul Soldner. Soldner’s renowned charisma charmed Armstrong and awakened a passion for the ceramic arts, so much so that Armstrong returned in the 1990s to pursue an MFA degree at The Claremont Graduate School. His passion for ceramic art matured into a love of collecting, and, with his spouse Julianne, he began assembling a comprehensive and enviable collection of post-World War II ceramic art from North America.
New Acquisitions from Julianne and David Armstrong, celebrating a donation of extraordinary works to the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) from the Armstrongs, includes rarely-seen works by some of North America’s leading ceramic artists, among them notable groupings of work from faculty and graduates from Alfred University (Andrea Gill, Ted Randall, Victor Babu, Don Reitz, Richard Shaw, Josh DeWeese, Karen Karnes, Peter Pincus, and more) and from Otis College of Art and Design (including Peter Voulkos, Harrison McIntosh, Porntip Sangvanich, Ralph Bacerra, John Mason, and Ricky Maldonado).
Works from Maldonado, Bacerra, and Rose Cabat exemplify the flashy, colorful influences of Los Angeles. Trompe-l’œil work from Shaw, Sylvia Hyman, David Furman and Victor Spinski are definitive examples of the North American take on this century’s old technique. Sculptural and figurative works from a host of other luminaries, including Voulkos, Richard Devore, Peter Callas, Patti Warashina, Joe Bova, Betty Davenport-Ford, Margaret Keelan, Gina Lawson-Egan, Janis Mars-Wunderlich, Glenn Takai, MacIntosh, Jens Morrison, and Rimas VisGirda round out this remarkable selection. Taken together, it is an impressive representation of ceramic artistic production in North America over the last century, and the Armstrongs’ preserving and sharing these artistic traditions with the public.
The following individuals and organizations are acknowledged, with gratitude, for making this exhibition possible.
Julianne and David Armstrong
Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture
Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
Ruth & Joseph C. Reed Foundation for the Arts
Raulee Marcus, Donald M. Pattison, and Kent Tool for supporting the digital production of this exhibition.