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Sold at Auction: Harrison McIntosh

Alias:Harrison Edward McIntosh


Harrison Edward McIntosh (11 September 1914 – 21 January 2016) was an American ceramic artist. He was an exponent of the Mid-century Modern style of ceramics, featuring simple symmetrical forms. His work has been exhibited in venues in the United States including the Smithsonian and internationally including at the Louvre in France.

Harrison Edward McIntosh was born in Vallejo, California to Harrison McIntosh, a ragtime piano player, and Jesusita (née Coronado) McIntosh.

McIntosh grew up in Stockton, California, where his father worked for Sperry Flour Company. At the time, the city of Stockton was building the Haggin Museum, which first inspired McIntosh's interest in the arts and architecture.

In high school, McIntosh and his younger brother, Robert, took informal painting lessons with Arthur Haddock. Both McIntosh brothers continued to pursue art after high school; Robert as a painter and Harrison as sculptor.

Two years after McIntosh graduated in 1933, he became a camp artist at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Yosemite, while his brother Robert received a scholarship to attend Art Center School, now Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. In 1937, after almost two years as a camp artist with the CCC, McIntosh moved down to Los Angeles and took classes at Art Center for six months.

McIntosh began working at the Foundation of Western Art in 1938, where he would work in the mornings as a gallery attendant and assistant. He would also work on commissions for Gustav Gilbert, owner of the arts material store The Louvre, making hand-carved picture frames for his store. At Harrison's suggestion, his parents hired Richard Neutra to build their new home. McIntosh assisted Neutra with the design and building; in the process, he learned design principles and incorporated a workshop space into the garage. These years marked McIntosh's first exposure to many of the famous California painters at the time, including Millard Sheets, as well as influential early ceramicists such as Gertrud and Otto Natzler.

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