Paul Revere Pottery, ca. 1908-42. Ceramic. Harlan E. Moore Charitable Trust 1987-14-1
Collection Highlight

The designer of the vase was part of a program created in 1906 at the Boston Library Club House by a group of immigrants known as the Saturday Evening Girls club (S. E. G.). The Progressive-era association, which the girls first joined as an educational pastime, grew into a profitable enterprise in which they could earn their living as potters. In 1908 the group moved to a location on Hull Street near the Old North Church, where Paul Revere had famously seen the signal lanterns. After the move, the Saturday Evening Girls began to use the name Paul Revere for their pottery works.

This vase departs from most Paul Revere Pottery examples, which were customarily decorated with large incised flower shapes filled with color. Typically, glazes were solid colors with matte or reflective surfaces. The base color of this vase, however, is a mottled brown, and a thin green glaze flows between three evenly spaced handles on the shoulder to form an irregular pattern on the body. An oyster-gray glaze washes over the lip and into the green glaze on the shoulders. There are no applied decorative details.

Lili Shapiro was a designer and decorator of pottery for the organization and oversaw operations for Paul Revere Pottery from 1937–1942, a time during which an estimated 200 women were employed in the business. These were the last five years of the company's operation.

Adapted from text by Maxine Hixon and Robert B. Smith, in Krannert Art Museum: Selected Works, 2008