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Light Gatherer

1987 Rudolf Staffel Born: San Antonio, Texas 1911 Died: Alfred, New York 2002 porcelain 9 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 5 1/4 in. (23.5 x 15.9 x 13.4 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of KPMG Peat Marwick 1993.54.14 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 53A

Luce Center Label

Rudolf Staffel created his porcelain works by pinching, scouring, and folding the clay. He manipulated the thickness of each vessel's walls so that the light creates different patterns and shapes as it filters through. Staffel began his "Light Gatherers" series in the mid-1950s. At first, he stained the pieces with colors, but in later years as the series evolved he chose to maintain the pure, unglazed white of the porcelain, with only an occasional hint of color. He began some of the pieces on a potter's wheel, while others he hand built for an uneven, layered appearance. Each work is unique, but all of the pieces in the series share the ability to capture and transmit light.


decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay

ceramic - porcelain