Keith Murray (1892-1981)
In his designs for Josiah Wedgwood and Sons Ltd., Murray combined good design with functional and affordable mass-produced wares. Murray, an architect and designer, created a range of modern shapes for Wedgwood beginning in 1932. The bold but restrained forms of contemporary architecture inspired his strong geometric forms, precise incised lines, and pristine finishes.
Murray proved that middle-class modernists did not have to compromise good design for more affordable wares. He urged industrial designers to improve mass-produced objects by emphasizing form rather than decoration. His ideas transformed the aesthetics of factory-made ceramics, whose restrained forms and harmonious colors ideally accentuated modernist interiors.
The Museum’s collection of Keith Murray Wedgwood wares – which includes commemorative objects, writing sets, vases, bowls, and pitchers all identified by the artist’s signature above the prestigious Wedgwood mark – communicates his vision for modernist industrial design. They remain highly desirable today.