Claude Conover United States, 1907-1994


Claude Conover (b. 1907, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; d. 1994, Cleveland, Ohio) was a potter and member of the Cleveland School, an artist community active in the Northeast Ohio area from 1910 until 1960. The group’s initiative to establish more art institutions in Ohio resulted in the founding of the Cleveland Institute of Art, where Conover studied, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Conover worked as a commercial designer for thirty years before pursuing his ceramic work professionally. A meticulous potter, Conover mixed his own clay and devised a unique coiling technique in lieu of throwing on a wheel. The artist’s mostly monochromatic stoneware is simple in form but upon closer inspection appears to contain a constellation of delicate incisions. Conover used a sawtooth blade to scratch into his clay pots, producing an ornamental dimension that gives the impression of ancient inscribed text. Conover’s work is held in institutional collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.