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Robert Johnson collection of Frans Wildenhain ceramics

Identifier: RITArt-0016

Scope and Contents

This is a collection of mid-twentieth century ceramics, circa 1940-1970, created by Frans Wildenhain (1905-1980). These were collected beginning in 1955 by Robert Johnson. The collection contains various types of pieces including bowls, pots, vases, tiles, jars, sculptures, and vessels.


  • Creation: circa 1955-1975


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical Information: Frans Wildenhain and Robert Johnson

About Frans Wildenhain

German born potter Frans Wildenhain joined the faculty at the School for American Crafts in 1950 where, along with Hobart Cowles, he helped create the legendary ceramics program. Wildenhain was trained at the Bauhaus with such giants as Josef Albers, Paul Klee, and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy. In addition to more traditional forms of pottery, Wildenhain created large ceramic murals for display in public spaces, such as the wall in the lobby of RIT’s Ingle Auditorium.

About Robert Johnson

Robert Bradley Johnson graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic and moved to Rochester, New York in 1954 to work at Eastman Kodak. He purchased his first Wildenhain pieces from Shop One to furnish his new home, "...a couple of his lamps, a tea caddy, a few bowls, enough to fill all the corners."1 That was in 1955. Johnson continued collecting Wildenhain's work, and his collection eventually totaled some 331 pieces, 300 of which he donated to the RIT Art Collection in 2010.

1 "RIT Archives Acquires Frans Wildenhain Ceramic Collection," by Marcia Morphy. University News, August 17, 2010.


331 Item(s) (Bowls, Pots, Vases, Tiles, Jars, Sculptures, Vessels, etc.)




Robert Johnson collection of Frans Wildenhain ceramics contains 331 pieces, each collected by Johnson.


Ceramic pieces are stored individually.

Physical Location

RIT Art Collection

Physical Location

C.S. North, Shelf 235

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number(s): 10:67

Bob Johnson gifted his collection of Frans Wildenhain ceramics to the RIT Art Collection in July 2010.


Ceramic pieces vary in size: .5 x 8 to 43 x 16 inches

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Amy Vilz in August 2011.

Robert Johnson collection of Frans Wildenhain ceramics
RIT Art Collection
Amy Vilz
26 August 2011
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA