William Kidd

American, b. 1961

Crusty Vase, 2003


Promised gift of Sidney Swidler

The Art of Containment – Vessels from the Sidney Swidler Collection

September 16, 2017 - March 31, 2018

Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery

Collecting art often involves a number of motivations, but for Sidney Swidler the main catalyst was the excitement he got from the objects themselves. In 1984, Swidler began collecting contemporary ceramics and, since that time, he has collected over 1,000 objects. His background as a modern architect honed his eye for the essential elements of form, texture, glaze selection, craftsmanship, and artistic intent. His preference for contemporary work was enriched by the interaction he could have with the living artist. He visited studios and attended national ceramics conventions where he discovered the work of hundreds of ceramicists from the United States and beyond.

In 2010, Swidler gifted over 800 pieces of contemporary clay to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California, and in 2017 he has gifted over 100 objects to the FIA. The Swidler Collection of ceramics encompasses pieces by ceramicists working predominantly with the vessel form. Some consider the straightforward functionality of a bowl or pot while others consider the cultural or social implications of the vessel. Whether they are traditionally inspired or uniquely modern, the objects in The Art of Containment: Vessels from the Sidney Swidler Collection illustrate the versatility of this art form and the breadth of Swidler’s collection.   

From the Exhibition

  • Judi Tavill, American, b. 1968. Carved Sculptural Vessel, 2012. Wheel thrown and hand carved stoneware. 9 1/4 x 5 inches. Promised gift of Sidney Swidler

  • Brett Freund, American, b. 1983. Gem Pot, 2015. Porcelain. 4 3/8 x 7 inches. Promised gift of Sidney Swidler

  • John Parker Glick, American, 1938 - 2017. Covered Jar, n.d. Stoneware. Promised gift of Sidney Swidler Temp_2017.203

  • Lars Voltz, American. Bowl, n.d. Stoneware. Promised gift of Sidney Swidler Temp_2017.196