MARGUERITE WILDENHAIN (1896 - 1985); POND FARM
Tall striped vase, Guerneville, CA; Glazed and incised stoneware; Signed Pond Farm with jug cipher; 13 1/2" x 5 1/2"; Provenance: Private collection, California
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
"Pond farm is not a 'school'; it is actually a way of life…" Marguerite Wildenhain, The Invisible Core, 1973 In what became a serendipitous twist of fate, French-born, Bauhaus-trained artist Marguerite Wildenhain and her husband, Frans, met the California architect Gordon Herr and his wife, Jane, at the Paris Exposition in 1937. The Herrs, both ceramic devotees, wished to establish an artist's colony in the Bay Area. Threatened by spreading Nazism in Europe, Marguerite eventually accepted their offer and made her way to Guerneville, CA in 1942 where, for the next few years, she assisted the Herrs in transforming their old ranch, Pond Farm, into a pottery studio and artists colony. Frans joined her in 1947, after serving several years in the German army. The Pond Farm school offered its first class in 1949. The death of Jane Herr, the breakup of Marguerite and Frans' marriage, and inner conflict between resident artists brought about its demise in 1952. Marguerite, however, was determined to continue living and working at Pond Farm, which she did, continuing to offer summer sessions to over twenty students per year until 1980. Among her myriad students was Harrison McIntosh, who was inspired, as were so many others, by her passion for excellence in all things.