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Prip family artworks by Frans Wildenhain and Ron Pearson

 Collection — Carton: 1
Identifier: RITArt-0098

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a vase crafted by Frans Wildenhain and two copper candle holders created by Ron Pearson. The items were donated by Peter Prip, son of metalsmith John Prip who apprenticed with Ron Pearson.

The vase was presented to the Prips at a farewell party held in their honor in 1957. The vase is signed by several noted Rochester artisans from the time period including Hans Christensen, Hobart and Barbara Cowles, Frans Wildenhain, Majorie Mcilroy, Kurt and Jane Feurherm, Ron Pearson, Olaf Skoogfors, Svetozar and Ruth Radovitch, and Tage Frid.

The copper candle holders may have been a collaboration between Pearson and John Prip. They are an example of holloware made of spun copper.


  • Creation: 1957


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Born in New York and raised in Denmark, John Prip (b. 1922) is a fourth generation metalsmith. At the age of 15 he began an apprenticeship at his father’s silversmithing factory. At the age of 26 he immigrated back to America with his wife and son and began teaching at the School for American Craftsmen at Alfred University, New York. Later he taught at the Rochester Institute of Technology and while there co-owned Shop One, a retail outlet for high quality handmade objects.

German born potter Frans Wildenhain (1905-1980) 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 and a ceramic mosaic mural for the R.J. Strasenburgh laboratory in Henrietta, New York.

Wildenhain's work is held by numerous galleries, including the Stedelijk Museum, Smithsonian Institution, and the Art Institute of Chicago. However, the largest collection of Wildenhain work is held by RIT.

Born in New York City, Ronald Hayes Pearson attended the University of Wisconsin from 1942 to 1943 and, after service in the U.S. Merchant Marine, continued his studies at the School for American Craftsmen at Alfred University from 1947 to 1948. In 1949 he enrolled in the Reed & Barton Silver Company's special design program. A founding member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, Pearson taught jewelry making at leading craft schools and designed flatware for major silver companies.

Pearson's long and distinguished career as a jeweler and metalsmith was honored in 1976 when he was elected a fellow of the American Craft Council and in 1987 when he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Portland School of Art in Maine for his contributions to American jewelry design.


1.5 Linear Feet (1 carton)




The collection contains three pieces from the Prip family art collection including a vase crafted by Frans Wildenhain and two copper candlesticks created by Ron Pearson.


The collection consists of three items.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Peter Prip in May 2015. Accession number(s): 15:059

Physical Description

The vase has two chips in the lip and a 1" crack that has been repaired.

The candle holders may have been cleaned at one time as the patina is removed from one of the pieces.


The vase measures 17 x 6 inches. The candlesticks are 4.5 inches in diameter.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lisa Witt in July 2015.

Prip family artworks by Frans Wildenhain and Ron Pearson
RIT Art Collection
Lisa Witt
16 July 2015
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA