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Peter Voulkos

American, 1924-2002

Peter Voulkos was a West Coast sculptor known for incorporating an array of modernist influences into his ceramics practice. Widely acknowledged as the progenitor of a profound transformation in American ceramics known variously as American Clay Revolution or the California Clay Movement, Voulkos is considered the seminal figure in the development of contemporary ceramic art in America.

As both a working artist and educator, Voulkos was instrumental in unleashing a transformative wave of creativity in clay. As the originating force behind a novel, uniquely American movement in ceramics, Voulkos’ legacy and present-day influence on the medium cannot be overstated.

Voulkos studied painting and printmaking under the GI Bill at Montana State College after serving as an airplane gunner in the US Army in World War II. He soon discovered a passion for sculpture, graduating with an MFA in 1952. An influential educator with a lengthy career at various institutions, he established the ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now the Otis College of Art and Design), where he taught from 1954–59, and at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught from 1959 until his retirement in 1985. He also taught at Black Mountain College and the Archie Bray Foundation.

Voulkos toured universities throughout the United States conducting live ceramic workshops to audiences until his death. Notable students of his include Paul Soldner, John Mason, Ken Price, Billy Al Bengston, Ron Nagle, Stephen de Staebler and James Melchert. Voulkos was the recipient of many awards throughout his career, including the Gold Medal at the International Exposition of Ceramics (1995, Cannes, France); the Rodin Museum Prize at the First Paris Biennale (1955, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France); a Guggenheim Fellowship (1984); a Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement (1997, College Art Association); and honorary doctorates from four American art schools.

Artworks by Voulkos have been exhibited at major institutions around the world, including at the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); the Museum of Art and Design (New York, NY); the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (Washington, D.C.); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA); the San Francisco Museum of Art (San Francisco, CA); the Seattle Art Museum (Seattle, WA); the American Craft Museum (New York, NY) and the National Museum of Modern Art (Tokyo, Japan).

Voulkos has artworks in in the permanent collections of many major international institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA); the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA); the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA); and many more.

Find authentic Peter Voulkos art today on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Peter Voulkos
Peter Voulkos Studio Vase
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Phoenix, AZ
Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) - Black Studio pot, circa 1953-1955. Signed “Voulkos” on the base. Voulkos, an American artist of Greek descent, was known for his Abstract Expressioni...
Category

1950s American Modern Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Clay

Peter Voulkos Signed Mid-Century Modern Stoneware Pottery Vase, circa 1950s
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Studio City, CA
A fantastic early work (circa early 1950s) by Master Greek-American potter Peter Voulkos. Signed on base with incised signature by Voulkos. Voulkos is widely considered to be t...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Stoneware

Peter Voulkos Signed Mid-Century Modern Glazed Stoneware Plate Charger, 1961
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Studio City, CA
A fantastic, freeform, large, heavy plate/ charger by American master potter Peter Voulkos who is known for his abstract expressionist ceramic pottery pieces and sculptures. Very uni...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Stoneware

Early Peter Voulkus Ceramic Vase
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Chicago, IL
Early Peter Voulkus ceramic vase early 1960'd [unsigned].
Category

1960s American Brutalist Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Ceramic

Peter Voulkos American Studio Pottery Faces Tea Bowl
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
A stunning vintage American Studio Pottery tea bowl decorated with Expressionist faces by Peter Voulkos. The stoneware tea bowl stands on a narrow rounded unglazed foot with a rounde...
Category

20th Century Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Pottery, Stoneware

Peter Voulkos Bronze Ice Bucket, 1986
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Dallas, TX
Peter Voulkos Untitled ice bucket, 1986 Bronze, # 1 of 5.
Category

1980s Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Bronze

Richard Hirsch and Peter Voulkos Ceramic Altar Bowl with Weapon, 2001
By Peter Voulkos, Richard A. Hirsch
Located in New York, NY
Contemporary American ceramic artist Richard Hirsch and American ceramic artist Peter Voulkos' Altar Bowl with Weapon is raku-fired, hand built and hand sculptured. It was fired in P...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Ceramic

Peter Voulkos Drypoint Etching
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Los Angeles, CA
1924-2002 A rare and late piece of art on paper by one of the great abstract ceramic artist of California. A nice print image of a stacked sculpture idea in textured sgraffito. The ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Paper

Peter Voulkos American Studio Potter, Large Charger, circa 1950-1955
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Phoenix, AZ
Studio pottery charger by Peter Voulkos, circa 1950-1955. Two incised expressionist female figures with stylized bird and sun. Size: 18" W x 16 1/4" W x 1" H. In excellent conditio...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Peter Voulkos

Materials

Clay

Peter Voulkos Ceramic Charger with Two Female Nudes Dancing Beneath the Moon
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Dallas, TX
An early glazed stoneware platter from the breakthrough years of world-renowned sculptor Peter Voulkos. Originally purchased in the mid-1950s and acquired from the original owner. ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Stoneware

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Peter Voulkos American Studio Potter, Large Charger, circa 1950-1955
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Paul Soldner Abstract Expressionist Studio Ceramic Vase
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Important California Potter Carlton Ball, Studio Ceramic Lidded Vase
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Carlton Ball (1911-1992) studio ceramic lidded vase, circa 1960s-1970s. Beautiful green and brown glaze with sgraffito swirl design on the body. Signed on the bottom “F. Carlton B...
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James Lovera California Studio Potter Ceramic Vase, circa 1950s-1960s
By James Lovera
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James Lovera (1920-2015) ceramic studio vase. This beautiful vase by James Lovera has a wonderful and unusual copper colored glaze and dates to the 1960s, perhaps as early as the ...
Category

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Materials

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Galle French Cameo Glass Cabinet Vase, Scenic
By Emile Gallé
Located in Phoenix, AZ
Beautiful French cameo piece featuring Islands and Palms. Signed "Galle." Measures: 3.63" H x 4" W. Mint condition.
Category

Early 20th Century French Art Nouveau Peter Voulkos

Materials

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Beatrice Wood Large Volcanic Glaze Vase
By Beatrice Wood
Located in Phoenix, AZ
Tall pink volcanic glaze vase by California Art potter Beatrice Wood (1893-1998). Signed on the bottom (twice) "Beato." Measures: 11 1/2" H x 5 1/2" W x 7" L. In excellent conditio...
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Fratelli Toso Tall Venetian Glass Vase
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Located in Phoenix, AZ
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Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Peter Voulkos

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French Art Deco Dinanderie Metalware Vase Signed George
Located in Phoenix, AZ
A wonderful French Art Deco dinanderie vase in brass with silver metal incrustation. The brass body is cut where the silver design will be laid into the champleve sections and then s...
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Previously Available Items
Large Ceramic Wall Mount Sculptural Platter Peter Voulkos
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Atlanta, GA
A large woodfired stoneware wall hanging sculptural platter by American potter Peter Voulkos (1924-2002). The glazed piece was organic and irregular in form with hand-built edges, co...
Category

Late 20th Century American Organic Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

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Peter Voulkos Stoneware Pottery Vase, 1950s
By Peter Voulkos
Located in San Diego, CA
An early studio work by Peter Voulkos. Glazed stoneware. Signed. C. 1950.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Peter Voulkos

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Ceramic

Peter Voulkos Signed Large Heavy Modern Glazed Chawan Tea Bowl
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Studio City, CA
A fantastic, freeform, heavy chawan teabowl by American master potter Peter Voulkos. Very unique and scarce work with rare use of color. One of our personal favorites. Signed ...
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1990s American Modern Peter Voulkos

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Earthenware

Peter Voulkos Charger, 1978
By Peter Voulkos
Located in North Miami, FL
Wood fired stoneware charger by Peter Voulkos (American, 1924-2002). Signed and dated: [VOULKOS 78].
Category

1970s American Brutalist Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Stoneware

  • Peter Voulkos Charger, 1978
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H 4.5 in. Dm 23 in.
Peter Voulkos Bottle Form Stoneware Vase
By Peter Voulkos
Located in San Mateo, CA
Early ceramic vase by Peter Voulkos. This vase has a black glaze with brown undertones. Four sides of the vase are slightly flattened. The top portion is unglazed. There is a firing ...
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Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Peter Voulkos

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Ceramic Bowl by Pier Voulkos
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Palm Springs, CA
Ceramic bowl by Pier Voulkos dated 1981. Pier is the daughter of world renowned Peter Voulkos. Bowl measures 5.25" high and 7" diameter.
Category

1980s American Vintage Peter Voulkos

  • Ceramic Bowl by Pier Voulkos
  • Ceramic Bowl by Pier Voulkos
  • Ceramic Bowl by Pier Voulkos
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H 5.25 in. Dm 7 in.
Peter Voulkos, American Abstract Untitled Watercolor, 1998
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
A rare opportunity to acquire an original American watercolor by Peter Voulkos. The watercolor, painted on paper is an abstract design in black and grey and is untitled. The watercol...
Category

1990s Central American Peter Voulkos

Materials

Paper

  • Peter Voulkos, American Abstract Untitled Watercolor, 1998
  • Peter Voulkos, American Abstract Untitled Watercolor, 1998
  • Peter Voulkos, American Abstract Untitled Watercolor, 1998
  • Peter Voulkos, American Abstract Untitled Watercolor, 1998
Free Shipping
H 16.82 in. W 12.64 in. D 1.19 in.

Peter Voulkos furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Peter Voulkos furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of ceramics and are designed with extraordinary care. In our Peter Voulkos collection, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 9 vintage editions of these items in stock, while there is also a modern edition to choose from. Many of Peter Voulkos' original furniture was created in the Modern style in the United States during the 20th century. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Rose Cabat, Hap Sakwa and Louise Nevelson. Prices for Peter Voulkos furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at US$800 and tops out at US$24,000, while pieces like these can sell for US$8,900 on average.
Questions About Peter Voulkos
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Peter Voulkos created large sculptures from clay, which he then cast in bronze. He was also known for creating intricate vases and plates. Shop a selection of Peter Voulkos pieces from some of the world’s top art dealers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    For his bronze-casted work, Peter Voulkos used the assemblage technique to create a sort of 3-D collage. He would also gouge and pinch his ceramic works to manipulate their traditional shape. On 1stDibs, you can shop a selection of Peter Voulkos pieces from some of the world’s top art dealers from the comfort of your home.

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