Ceramics can be held in our hands, decorate our homes, or be incorporated into the built environment around us. They are objects of both utility and ornament, articles of industry and commerce, and even vehicles of political persuasion.

To achieve these aesthetic and practical goals, designers and artists have to adapt the inherent material qualities of different kinds of clay.

This array of ceramics created in the first half of the twentieth century encompasses the expressive and functional potential of earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain, and illustrates the varied design and production processes employed to make finished works.