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Albert H. King

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Albert H. King
Modern Ceramic
American, (1900–1982)
Albert King was born just outside of Tumbridge Wells in Kent, England, April 10, in 1900. He came to the United States in 1911 with his family to visit relatives, and the family ended up staying in California in the Los Angeles area. King barely got through high school, and was employed as a caretaker at Camp Baldy after graduation. He moved to Los Angeles a few years later and worked as a clerk and buyer for a restaurant chain, while establishing his own studio and exhibiting his paintings. His knowledge of ceramics was largely self-acquired, through contacts and friendships with professionals and technicians in the commercial potteries in the Los Angeles area, and frequent visits to the library. His instense curiousity led to his becoming one of the most knowledgable technicians in the region's studio potteries by the mid-1930s.
In 1932 King began his own pottery under the name of Spence and King, and in the mid-1930s he also married Louisa Anne Etcheverry, who was a sculptor and potter herself.
King made many important contributions to the ceramic arts during his long career, including research in porcelains and high-fire glazes. Honors and awards came as early as 1934 through the Los Angeles County Fair at Pomona. In 1941 a significant group of porcelains was included in the permanent collection at Scripps College.
"Throughout his work King remained inspired by the forms and particularly the glazes of the Sung Dynasty, while an admiration of the nuances of Japanese pottery becomes aparent during the fifties. His contribution to the ceramics of southern California have been considerable. No stranger to controversy, he fought and eventually helped to win many craftsmen's battles in gaining a respected place for ceramic art." - Hazel Bray, "The Potters Art in California, 1885-1955," exhibition catalog, The Oakland Museum, Oakland, California, 1980.


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