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Vase

Associated
with the Art Academy of the American Woman's League, University City, Missouri, 1909–1911
Maker
Adelaide Alsop Robineau, American, 1865–1929
Date
1910
Material
Glazed porcelain
Made in
University City, Missouri, United States, North and Central America
Classification
Ceramics, containers
Current Location
On View, Gallery 332
Dimensions
6 1/16 x 2 7/16 in. (15.4 x 6.2 cm)
Credit Line
Bequest of Elsa K. Bertig in memory of Joseph and Elsa Bertig, by exchange
Rights
Public Domain
Object Number
471:1979
NOTES
Yellow blossoms surround the top of this vase, while simplified green stems divide the lower body. The areas in between were pierced, then filled with a blue translucent glaze. Adelaide Robineau was known for exacting technical work, often carving into the vessel walls to achieve extraordinary thinness and translucency.
by 1914 - 1950
Edward Gardner Lewis (d.1950), University City, MO; Atascadero, CA [1]

- 1969
Robert Pilcher, Trash to Treasures Auction House, Morro Bay, CA

1969/10/05 - 1979
Victor Porter Smith, purchased at auction of Edward Gardner Lewis estate (presented by Robert Pilcher) at the Jewish War Veterans Memorial Center, University City, MO, October 5, 1969 [3]

1979 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Victor Porter Smith [4]


Notes:
This vase shares the same provenance with two other vases in the Museum's collection (472:1979 and 473:1979).

[1] Edward Gardner Lewis founded an Art Academy in University City, Missouri, in 1909. A large number of art porcelains and other ceramics, including 471:1979, were made in the Art Academy, part of Lewis's Peoples University. The Art Academy and the Peoples University were never fully realized and closed by 1913. Lewis reorganized production of ceramics and art pottery in the University City Porcelain Works in 1912, but the UCPW ceased during summer 1914. Lewis moved all his businesses to Atascadero, California, and by summer 1916 the ceramics had also been moved to California where they became part of Lewis's personal collection [Saint Louis Art Museum curator David Conradsen].

[2] In October 1969, Robert Pilcher presented at auction in St. Louis "antiques and art objects from the estate of the late Edward Gardner Lewis" ["Auction of Art Objects," "St. Louis Globe Democrat," October 19, 1969, West Area Section, p.7]. Exact ownership and transfer of the ceramics between Lewis's death and the subsequent auction fourteen years later is not clear in these articles. One article states that "the items were handled by a California auctioneer when Lewis died in 1955 [sic] in Atascadero, Calif.... A California antique dealer [Robert Pilcher] is offering the items [at the October 5, 1969 auction]." It is not known whether Robert Pilcher was the California auctioneer who handled the earlier transaction or whether he acquired the pieces at a later date ["Auction Friday From Estate of U. City Founder," "St. Louis Globe-Democrat," September 29, 1969, West Area Section, p.1].

[3] In a 1976 letter to the University City Library, Victor Porter Smith described purchasing ceramics at the 1969 auction. It is presumed that he purchased the three vases at that time [letter, February 19, 1979, SLAM document files].

[4] Invoice from Victor Porter Smith, November 15, 1979 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, December 19, 1979.
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