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Peter Shire

Biography to Display: 

1947 Born Los Angeles, California


1970 BFA Chouinard Art Institute (California Institute of the Arts), Los Angeles, California


1972—Echo Park Pottery, Los Angeles, California

1980s Memphis Group


Peter Shire has worked with a number of media including clay. Shire does not categorize his work into any area working in industrial design, fine art, and crafts.

References to the Bauhaus aesthetic, Italian Futurism, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco appear in his work throughout the years and media.

In the 1980s he became one of the early members of the Milan-based Memphis Group. This collection of artists and designers developed colorful unique designs that Ettore Sottsass called the ‘New International Style’ a reaction to the minimalist designs of the 1970s.

In the 1980s Shire built many of his postmodern teapots. These slab built and cast pieces use stoneware and are glazed with the very bright palette of colors that have become an iconic part of his work regardless of the media. In the 1970s he began painting with glazes on clay tiles. The subjects of these paintings are typically drawn from his Los Angeles neighborhood. He has painted more than 500 of these tiles.

Each year he produces and donates dozens of mugs decorated with spattered ultra-bright color glazes.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Archer M. Huntington Gallery, Austin, Texas

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Berkeley Museum, Berkeley, California

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Colburn Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles, California

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, New York

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York

Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, California

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

The Jewish Musesum, New York, New York

Judisches Museum, Frankfurt, Germany

Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California

Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California

Matthew Center Art Collection, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina

Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

Museum of Modern Art, Lodz, Poland

Newport Art Museum, Newport Beach, California

Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California

Österreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon

Sak’s Fifth Avenue Corporation, New York, New York

San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, California

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California

Seattle Museum of Art, Seattle, Washington

Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Total Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England


Bibliography to Display: 

Clark, Garth. American Ceramics: 1876 to the Present, revised edition. New York, NY: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1987.

__________and Cindy Strauss. Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark DelVecchio Collection. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Lauria, Jo. Color and Fire, Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics 1950 to 2000.  Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2000.

Perry, Barbara. American Ceramics: The Collection of the Everson Museum of Art. New York, NY: Rizzoli International Publishers, 1989.


CV or Resume: Click Here to Download
Source: Elaine Levin Archive, University of Southern California



Typical Marks
Chess Set, edition of 10, #2
Date: 1971
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Cast
Surface Technique: Luster
Courtesy Treadway Toomey Auctions, Candice Groot Auction, November 12, 2016, lot #188
Courtesy Treadway Toomey Auctions, Candice Groot Auction, November 12, 2016, lot #188
Date: 1998
Method: Hand-Built, Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Glaze
Earthy StripesTeapot
Materials: Mixed Media, Porcelain
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Glaze
Courtesy Treadway Toomey Auctions
Courtesy Treadway Toomey Auctions

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified March 26, 2023.