Viktor Schreckengost (1906–2008, American)
Cowan Pottery (1913–1931), Rocky River, OH
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
Signed "VICTOR SCHRECKENGOST" in glaze, lower side; bottom impressed, "COWAN"
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art