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Paul Chaleff

Biography to Display: 



1969BA Fine Arts, City College of New York, New York, New York

1971MFA Ceramics, City University of New York, New York, New York


1997—Professor of Art, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York


Paul Chaleff is known for his large scale wood fired ceramic sculptures and vessels. He also created a large body of wheel thrown functional vessels. His vessels are strongly influenced by Japanese pottery, especially the work of one of Japan’s National Living Treasures, Takeshi Nakazato. Chaleff was one of the first American potters using a Japanese style Anagama kiln and became a leader in the introduction of this form of wood-burning kiln. 

In 1989, he began a regular collaboration with the British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro. Over a period of thirteen years, they created nearly 50 works, both figurative and abstract. Caro’s sculpture has had direct influence on Chaleff’s work as has the sculpture of Isamu Noguchi, and the ceramics of John Mason and Lucie Rie.


Public Collections to Display: 

Allentown Museum of Art, Allentown, Pennsylvania

American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California

Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona

Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

Arrowmount School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York

Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

City College of New York, New York, New York

Crocker Museum of Art, Sacramento, California

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York

Idyllwild School of Music and Art, Idyllwild, California

Longhouse Foundation, Easthampton, New York

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, California

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Mills College, Oakland, California

Muju Sculpture Park, South Korea

Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

Princeton  University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey

Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin

Rockefeller University, New York, New York

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC

University of Colorado Art Museum, Boulder, Colorado

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut


Bibliography to Display: 

Adlin, Jane. Contemporary Ceramics: Selections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998.

Bach, Laurence. “Connecting Cultures: Paros Island Greece 2005,” Ceramics Technical (2006).

Bischoff, Dan. “Exploring the Complexities of Clay,” The Star Ledger, Sunday May 8, 2008.

Caro, Anthony. Clay Sculptures. London, England: Galerie Bresson, 2002.

Court, Louise Allison. “A Short History of Woodfiring in America.” The Log Book 9  (2002).

DuBois, Alan and Michael Monroe. Living with Form: The Horn Collection of Contemporary Crafts. Little Rock, AK: Arkansas Arts Center, 2000.

Esman, Abigail. “Shaped by Tragedy.” American Style, June 2005.

Fairbanks, Jonathan, Angela Fina, and Christopher Gustin. The Contemporary Potter. Rockport, MA, Rockport Publishers, 2000.

Genoccio, Benjamin. “Masterful Sculptures, Formed of Clay.” New York Times, July 27, 2008.

Goddard, Dan R. “Southwest School’s Vessels Stress Form Over Function.” San Antonio Express News, October 2, 2005.

Lebow, Edward. “Paul Chaleff.” American Ceramics (May 1983).

Lombardi, Dominick. “Inside Out.” New York TimesWestchester Ed.,August 15, 2004.

Pearson, Katherine. Crafts, a Resource Book. New York, NY: Stewart Tabori and Chang, 1984.

Patricia Pelehach. “Paul Chaleff’s Re-Engineered Vision.” Ceramics Art and Perception (April 2006).

Peterson, Susan. Contemporary Ceramics. New York:  Watson Guptill, 2000.

_____________. The Craft and Art of Clay. New York: Prentice Hall, 2000.

_____________. Working With Clay. New York: Prentice Hall, 1999.

Rhodes, Daniel and Robin Hopper. Clay and Glazes for the Potter. London: Black Publishing, 2000.

Schwartz, Judith. “Paul Chaleff at Paula Allen.” American Ceramics (1990).

Shen, Henry. “Paul Chaleff.” Taiwan Ceramic Art (August 1996).

Spyridoyannakis, Marsh. “Art and Tradition: Connecting Cultures in Paros.” Paros Life (August 2005).

Tsoukanelis, Erika Alexi.  “A View to Dream.” Inside Out (July/August 2008).

Williams, Gerry. “The Japanese Pottery Tradition and its Influence on American Ceramics.” American Craft (April/May 1998).




Typical Marks

Japanese-style "chop" mark or inscribed "Chaleff" signature with date.

ca 1980
ca 1988
Date: ca 1980
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
E. John Bullard Collection
E. John Bullard Collection
Date: 1986
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Hand-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze, Woodfire
E. John Bullard Collection
E. John Bullard Collection
Date: 1988
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Dimensions: H. 14.5 x D. 14 inches
Surface Technique: Glaze, Woodfire
Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of Martin J. Davidson, 2000.527.3
Photo: TMP
Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of Martin J. Davidson, 2000.527.3
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Storage Jar
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Loren Maron
Photo: Loren Maron

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified February 15, 2024.