"Less widely known than the Crocker Art Museum's master drawings of early Californian paintings and sculpture is its collection of 20th century studio ceramics. Since the 1950s, contemporary clay-both vessel and sculptural-has brought to the museum a constellation of creative ideas. This cataloged celebrates Sidney Swidler's gift of more than eight hundred pieces that form the Museum's Sidney Swidler Collection. Focusing on the vessel, the collection is a survey of the production of more than 300 artists. It spans the work of leading figures in the 20th century studio movement from Karen Karnes to Ewen Henderson and beyond. It is also forward-looking, including example from mid-career and emerging artists who are now shaping new chapters on clay. Swidler, who began collecting in the 1980s, 'was not expecting to become and collector. In fact if I hadn't become feverishly interested in pots I wouldn't have collected anything.' In time, he developed a thoughtful, personal approach to collecting, realizing that 'I had to limit myself somehow, so I decided everything has to have at least a vessel form...to have started out as a pot, at least, in the potter's mind.' What was in the potter's mind might have been to celebrate craftsmanship, expand upon tradition or arbitrate boundaries. these ideas that continue to inspire contemporary makes attracted Michigan collector Sidney Swidler to clay. The Swidler gift substantially broadens the Crocker's collection holdings, adding three decades of ideas and change to the language of the vessel. The Creative Arts League of Sacramento has been instrumental in the exhibition of the Sidney Swidler Collection in galleries newly dedicated to the appreciation of clay. Their generous support of the cataloged has allowed authors Diana L Daniels and Martha Drexler Lynn to examine the gift's historical and creative strengths and to introduce readers to the crosscurrents and exchanges beautifully illustrated by the objects within these pages."--P  of cover.