Jan 30, 2020 - Sale 2528

Sale 2528 - Lot 22

Price Realized: $ 2,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
WILLIAM E. ARTIS (1914 - 1977)

Glazed earthenware, circa 1970. Approximately 533 mm; 21 inches high. Inscribed initials "WEA" on the underside.

Provenance: the Johnson Publishing Company, Inc., Chicago.

This striking mid-century vessel is a scarce pottery or ceramic artwork by sculptor William E. Artis, and possibly the first to come to auction. Artis exhibited at the Syracuse Ceramic Nationals in the years of 1940, 1947 through 1951.

Born in Washington, NC, William E. Artis moved to New York during the Harlem Renaissance like fellow North Carolina native artists Charles Alston and Romare Bearden. Artis took private sculpture lessons with Augusta Savage and studied with Robert Laurent at the Art Students League with a Harmon Foundation scholarship. After service in the air force during World War II, Artis studied at the New York State College of Ceramics. He was awarded the Rosenwald Fund fellowship in 1946 and collaborated with the Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic (1883- 1962).

William Artis moved to the Midwest in the early 1950s to teach art and to study the Sioux Indian culture - he taught at the Holy Rosary (now Red Cloud) School on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Then he joined the Chadron State College faculty as an assistant instructor in 1954 - then named Nebraska State Teachers College. Artis was professor of sculpture and ceramics at Chadron State College until 1965. He then was an associate professor at Mankato State College in Mankato, Minnesota until 1975. Artis received a retrospective at Fisk University in 1971. William Artis's artwork today is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Museum of Art, the Museum of Nebraska Art, the Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and Chadron State College. Schulman p. 134, Nolting pp. 58-59, 89.