Vintage Architectural Pottery

Vintage Mid Century Modern Ceramic planter, Large at 22 inches wide by 11.5 high with a 17 inch opening. Beautiful patina, c.1950s, a product of the early LA modernism movement and the ceramic business of Professor La Gardo Tackett and students John Follis and Rex Goode and others of the Architectural Pottery Company, Los Angeles, Southern California. Just cleaned up with soap and water and it's beautiful.

It began with an unlikely friendship between a Vernon meatpacker and a pioneering Los Angeles graphics designer who shared a fascination with modernist design. One day, the designer, Lou Danziger, told his old friend from New York about a group of Pasadena students who had extended the modernist idiom into the world of ceramics, turning out large planters and sculptures that looked like white doughnuts, halved avocadoes and stacked pyramids.

And suddenly, an opportunity was born.

The wife of meatpacker Max Lawrence offered to check out the students' work, on display in 1949 at a nursery on Barrington Avenue in West Los Angeles. "She saw the forms and the shapes and she knew there was nothing like it on the market," said Lawrence, now 92. His wife, Rita, believed that the artistic forms could soften the stark austerity of Los Angeles' newly constructed midcentury homes while honoring a prime principle of the modernist movement: functionality.

Within months, the couple had gone into business mass-producing and selling the students' creations as part of a new ceramics company called Architectural Pottery. By the mid-1950s, the company was selling pottery to architects and designers across the country. Lawrence closed his meatpacking business and went to work with his wife full-time.