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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Product Spotlight: Waylande Gregory Studios

What if your great uncle was a famous artist who changed the landscape of ceramics in the 20th century and his work was collecting dust in a basement? For Bryan Downey, that was exactly the case. Thanks to his curiosity, his great-grand uncle Waylande Gregory, a leading modernist of the 20th century, lives on with Waylande Gregory Studios.

Known internationally for influencing the direction of figurative art, Gregory was most famous for his groundbreaking sculptures at the 1939 New York World’s Fair (at that time, the largest sculpture ever created). But Gregory’s technical advancements went beyond the art world, including creating a patent allowing the fusion of glass to clay that NASA was even able to adapt to put a man on the moon.

During his career, he was commissioned to create pieces for some of the world’s leading retailers, such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Tiffany & Co.. His works have been displayed in the Smithsonian, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

But the story doesn't stop there. The ceramicist passed away in 1971 and his work was donated by his wife, who gave specific instructions that if his work were ever to be used, it be used for good. It wasn’t until Downey and fashion entrepreneur Mickey Rosmarin found the treasure trove of his work in the basement of the Gregory Estates Philanthropic Foundation that Waylande Gregory Studios was formed to reissue his work.

Today, Waylande Gregory Studios creates decorative porcelains and ceramics incorporating designs from the library of the late artist. Trained artisans in Peru produce each piece, hand crafted from high-fired porcelain and stoneware with rich matte glazes, 22-carat gold and platinum.

Waylande Gregory’s bold designs and powerful use of color created timeless pieces that look as fresh today as they did nearly 70 years ago. 

We are excited to carry Waylande Gregory Studios at Joan Hawkins Art & Interiors. Items above can be found in stock in the shop!

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