November 1, 2020 through January 2, 2022

(Temporarily close on April 18-May 16, 2021 and and September 12-October 10, 2021)

Fowler Gallery


“You are not an artist simply because you paint or sculpt or make pots that cannot be used. An artist is a poet in his or her own medium. When an artist produces a good piece, that work has mystery, an unsaid quality. It contains a spirit and is alive.” — Toshiko Takaezu


In 1958, Toshiko Takaezu began experimenting with the closed form, a vessel completely sealed except for a tiny pinhole at the top. This innovation defied ceramics’ traditional everyday purpose, and created a hidden interior that suggested mystery and power. Takaezu would spend the next five decades exploring the closed form and other kinds of ceramic sculpture.

Takaezu believed that art and life are interconnected, and imperfection can be poetic. These philosophies shaped her work, which she approached with both spontaneity and contemplation. Intuition & Reflection: The Ceramics of Toshiko Takaezu celebrates her unique legacy with works from the Museum’s collection.

Inside Toshiko Takaezu’s “Closed Forms”


Intuition & Reflection: The Ceramics of Toshiko Takaezu is supported through the generosity of the Harry C. Trexler Trust, the Julius and Katheryn Hommer Foundation, the Century Fund, the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, the Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment, the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation, the County of Lehigh, the Keystone Savings Foundation, the Allentown Art Museum Auxiliary, the Society of the Arts (SOTA), the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Friends of the Museum.