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International Decorative Art

Jazz Bowl

Jazz Bowl

Design Date
1931

Designer
Viktor Schreckengost (1906–2008, American)

Manufacturer
Cowan Pottery (1913–1931), Rocky River, OH

Media
earthenware

Dimensions
8 1/8 x 13 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches

The first jazz bowl was commissioned by Eleanor Roosevelt, who requested a punch bowl with “New Yorkish” flair to celebrate her husband’s re-election as Governor of New York. She was so pleased with the finished product that she ordered two more in premature celebration of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s election as President. Inspired by a Christmas Eve visit to New York, the jazz bowl’s decoration tells a comic story about a night out in the city, starting with the eight hat-topped faces. One of the faces is especially drunk, with Xs for eyes. A clock reads 3:30 AM, and the neon follies signs of Times Square stand out against exaggerated skyscrapers and a drumhead signifying a famous jazz venue, the Cotton Club. Glasses of champagne that emit bubbles and stars waft up to mingle with the punch in the bowl. Jazz bowls were only produced for one year and with only 30-50 total made in three shape varieties. Kirkland Museum’s jazz bowl is the second version of the design, with a flared lip to improve the bowl’s structural integrity in the kiln. Schreckengost estimated that less than three examples of this second version were made.

Not currently on view

Markings
Signed "VICTOR SCHRECKENGOST" in glaze, lower side; bottom impressed, "COWAN"

Credit Line
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number
2000.0035

Other Art Deco works