Hand-Built Slab Vessel
James McKinnell (1919–2005, American)
12 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches
James (Jim) McKinnell was born in 1919 in Nitro, West Virginia and shortly thereafter his family moved to Seattle. Studying ceramic engineering at the University of Washington, Jim met Nan Bangs, a ceramics graduate student. Jim served in the Navy during World War II and, joined by Nan, he used GI education money to travel throughout Europe after the war, studying in art schools in France, England and Scotland. The two married in 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland. They moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1951, where they taught at the University of Colorado and set up a pottery studio. The McKinnells moved often in the 1960s and early 1970s, teaching at the University of Iowa, Alfred University, the Edinburgh College of Art, Colorado State University and the Glasgow School of Art. They also lived and worked briefly in Japan from 1967 to 1968. From 1973 to 1987 Nan and Jim taught at Loretto Heights College in Denver. They split their time between Denver and Fort Collins, spending three to four days a week living and working at Loretto Heights. After this lengthy period of teaching and artist residency, they permanently moved to Fort Collins where they remained until their deaths in 2005 (Jim) and 2012 (Nan). Their work is nationally and internationally known, and they were inducted into the American Craft Council College of Fellows in 1988. Jim McKinnell, with an interest in ceramic engineering, experimented with kiln building and created different types of kilns throughout his lifetime. His stoneware ceramics appear to have a heavier, busier quality, compared to Nan’s orderly, delicate style. Together Jim and Nan were a strong ceramist duo teaching and producing work all over the world.
Not currently on view
Inscribed "McKinnell" lower side
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art