Futura Tank Vase (No. 412)
Frank L. Ferrell (1878–1961, American)
Roseville Pottery Company (1890–1954), Zanesville, OH
9 3/8 x 8 x 9 1/4 inches
Roseville’s Futura line of pottery, of which this Tank vase is a part, exemplifies the Art Deco aesthetic in its assertively modern lines and its name and shape, which recall mechanical motifs. Another element of Art Deco style is the appropriation of motifs from non-Western cultures, including a special fascination with Egyptology that the Tank vase plays off of with its pyramidal lines. The Tank vase was the rare polylinear shape in American art pottery. It is polylinear because it is entirely asymmetrical and has no curved, irregular or parallel lines. The polylinearity of some pieces of the Futura line was a mark of their innovation and their extreme degree of asymmetry, making the pottery look dramatically different from every angle. Frank Ferrell was a prolific designer for Roseville Pottery, having designed all the pottery lines produced by the company from 1918 to 1952. This vase bears his signature asymmetry and dramatic color gradient. The Tank is the rarest of the Futura forms.
ON VIEW in Art Deco Gallery 6
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art