Harrison McIntosh

Harrison McIntosh’s career spanned an astounding six decades, during which time he helped define the California ceramics aesthetic characterized by modern style and natural materials. McIntosh studied at the Art Center, Los Angeles (1938) (now Art Center College of Design, Pasadena) followed by the University of Southern California (1940) where he studied under innovative ceramist Glen Lukens. He then attended Claremont Graduate School for his MFA where he studied under Richard Petterson. During his studies at Scripps, McIntosh along with fellow potter Rupert Deese, opened a ceramics studio on Foothill Boulevard.

In the 1950s, McIntosh taught at what is now the Otis College of Art and Design, where he befriended Peter Voulkos. He left his teaching position to dedicate himself to making ceramics in his Claremont, CA studio. Heavily influenced by Japanese pottery and design, he progressed from functional vessels to more sculptural pieces while maintaining his signature spare, elegant, modern style with sgraffito and spotted patterns. McIntosh worked until 2002 when he was forced to retire due to diminishing eyesight and passed away in 2016 at the age of 101.

Over his impressive career, McIntosh had forty-three solo exhibitions. He was granted Fellow of The American Craft Council, NY in 1988 and his work can be found in over 40 museum collections around the world including the Smithsonian Institution, Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C., the Louvre, Paris, and the Kiushu Museum, Japan.

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