ARTIST: RUTH DUCKWORTH

(1919- 2009)

Born in Hamburg, Ruth became a ceramic artist with an aesthetic language like no other. Working in porcelain, she created soft, serene pieces reminiscent of bone, where form, material and expression are one. Duckworth fled her homeland Germany in 1936 to initially settle in the UK, where she studied sculpture at the Liverpool, Hammersmith and Central Schools of Art. In 1964, she was invited to teach in Chicago.  She moved permanently to the US, where she was very successful working in clay. 

Although Duckworth had several large architectural commissions, she is perhaps best known for her smaller, distinct porcelain works. Her work seems to reflect some of the European sensibilities also present in works of other middle European emigrés such as Hans Coper or Lucie Rie. "Duckworth manages to distill the very essence of morphological experience and sensation into these undemonstrative, abstract sculptures". (Peter Lane, Contemporary Porcelain, Craftsman House, 1995)

Her work is in many museums in US and worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the V&A.  She received numberous awards in the US, including; three gold medals, Mastery in clay, Visionary award and the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington) award for Lifetime achievement in the Craft Arts.