Of Cottages and Castles: The Art of California Faience
FEBRUARY 22 – MAY 17, 2015
William Bragdon was a ceramic engineer trained at Alfred University in New York. He moved to Berkeley in 1915 to teach at the California School of Arts and Crafts and shortly thereafter formed a partnership with his Alfred University classmate Chauncey Thomas, then running a Berkeley pottery studio. Together they created decorative tiles, vases, and sculpture, calling their wares California Faience. The most prestigious of the company's projects came in the 1920s when architect Julia Morgan commissioned a complete environment of tiles for William Randolph Hearst's palatial home and grounds in San Simeon. The first exhibition on this subject, Of Cottages and Castles presents the full range of the company's accomplishments, with an emphasis on decorative pieces emblematic of Arts and Crafts, Art Deco, and Moderne styles, as well as tiles made for Hearst Castle.