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John Takehara

Biography to Display: 

1929 Born Korea

2009 Died Boise, Idaho


BS Education, Walla Walla College, College Place, Washington

MFA Los Angeles State College (UCLA), Los Angeles, California


1960’s Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, Montana 


1963–1968Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

1968–1995Boise State University, Boise, Idaho


John Takehara is known for wheel-thrown pottery that is fired to cone 10 (2,350F). He was a prolific potter with a focus on utility, everyday use, and beauty. 

Takehara described his work as, "decorative, useful, and simple". Through his work Takehara balanced his life as a contemporary ceramic artist with historical influences. His work was influenced by the works of Japanese Potters and those in England who for generations produced (and continue to produce) ceramics for everyday use: 

Takehara, a native of Korea found clay through the art scene of Montana in the 1960’s. During his time as a professor of two dimensional studies at Montana State University (MSU), his colleague, ceramics professor Frances Senska, encouraged his interest in clay. MSU’s visiting artist program also helped craft Takehara’s future direction, ultimately leading him to apply for a resident artist position at the Archie Bray Foundation (The Bray) for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana.

Both MSU and The Bray had a profound influence – not only on his artistic direction – but the way he would one day run his own college level ceramics program. Takehara’s tenure at Boise State University was influenced by the educational model set by both Montana institutions. His workshop and visiting artist series for Boise State’s ceramics program drew nationally and internationally known ceramic artists to Idaho, helping cement the program as a major force in pacific north west ceramics under his tenure.


Public Collections to Display: 

Baker University Collection, Baldwin City, Kansas

Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho

Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, California

Washington Art Consortium of Museums, Washington State



Bibliography to Display: 

Takehara, John.  John Takehara – The Boise Years. Boise, ID: Boise Gallery of Art, 1982.




Typical Marks
Bowl with Lid
Date: 1970
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown
Dimensions: 5.8 X 7 inches in diameter
Surface Technique: Glaze
Collection Mills College Art Museum,  gift of Kay (Class of 1961) and Colton Meyer, 2007.52
Collection Mills College Art Museum, gift of Kay (Class of 1961) and Colton Meyer, 2007.52

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified July 14, 2023.