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William Daley

Biography to Display: 


1925 Born Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

2022  Died Elkins Park, Pennsylvania


1950BS Art Education, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts

1952MA Art Education, Columbia University Teachers College, New York, New York


1957-1990 Philadelphia College of Art (The University of the Arts), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


William Daley worked in stoneware using slabs and press molding to hand-build his sculptural vessels. Inspired by Glen Lukens’ unglazed vessel forms, Daley began to leave his work unglazed in an effort to emphasize the angularity of each piece. He burnished the surfaces to enhance the variations in the clay. He worked out the construction of each of his pieces by making complex drawings for each architecturally detailed sculptural piece.

Although function is not a primary consideration in his work, each object is a vessel form. Daley is known for the inner spaces of his vessels which are stepped and articulated with complex geometrical and architectural elements. The end result is an object that twists the viewer’s perception of positive and negative space as well as the concept of inside and outside.

An interview with William Daley conducted August 7 and December 2, 2004, by Helen Drutt English for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America is available at

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida

Clayarch Gimhae Museum, Gimhae, South Korea

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania

Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin

Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, Missouri

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC

Stedelijk Museum s’Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England


Bibliography to Display: 

Clark, Garth. American Potters, the Work of Twenty Masters. New York: Watson Guptil Publishers, 1981.

­­_________ . American Ceramics, 1876 to the Present. New York: Abbeville Press, 2000.

Dietz, Ulysses Grant. Great Pots Contemporary Ceramics from Function to Fantasy. Newark, NJ: Guild Publishers/The Newark Museum, 2003.

Dormer, Peter. The New Ceramics: Trends and Traditions. London: Thames & Hudson, 1986.

Fine, Ruth. William Daley: Ceramic Artist. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2013.

Levin, Elaine. The History of American Ceramics: From Pipkins and Bean Pots to Contemporary Forms, 1607 to the Present. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, 1988.

Nelson, Glen C. and Richard Burkett. Ceramics: A Potters Handbook. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2001.


CV or Resume: Click Here to Download
Source: Artist



Typical Marks
Date: 1980
Elaine Levin Archives, University of Southern California Library
Elaine Levin Archives, University of Southern California Library
Your Turn
Date: 1981
Courtesy Treadway Toomey Auctions, Candice Groot Collection, lot 49, April 16, 2016
Courtesy Treadway Toomey Auctions, Candice Groot Collection, lot 49, April 16, 2016
Haystack Vesica
Date: 2003
Form: Sculpture
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown, Hand Built
Courtesy Treadway Toomey Auctions, Candice Groot Collection, lot 46, April 16, 2016
Courtesy Treadway Toomey Auctions, Candice Groot Collection, lot 46, April 16, 2016
Form: Sculpture
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown and Altered, Hand Built
Surface Technique: Unglazed
Robert L. Pfannebecker Collection
Photo: TMP
Robert L. Pfannebecker Collection

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified January 25, 2022.