Mid-Century Modern drawings by LaGardo Tackett

The Andy Lin Collection of LaGardo Tackett Primal Drawings

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LaGardo Tackett Primal Drawings


“Architectural Pottery” developed and became popular in Mid-Century Modern home décor. Ranging from functional foodware pieces to decorative planters, porcelain and other types of ceramics were being revolutionized. The artist behind the pottery revolution was LaGardo Tackett. His designs are still coveted pieces today and a staple in any MCM decorated home.

Tackett was born in Kentucky and briefly studied geology at the University of Indiana before dropping out. He married his life-long partner, Virginia Lee Roth soon after. Their various jobs led them to the West Coast where they lived in an “experimental community for the automotive age” called Baldwin Hills Village in Los Angeles. According to Dr. F. Peter Swanson, a collector of Tackett Pottery and author of an article about the artist published in Connecticut Explored, Tackett studied ceramics and other art forms at Claremont Graduate School during this time. After returning home from being drafted during WWII, Tackett continued to study pottery through Scripps at The Claremont Colleges. He was introduced to many approaches and forms of pottery which helped develop his own style and interests. Many of his ceramics focus on foodware designs for the modern age. In his home, his children remember there being “a dish for everything.”

He began teaching pottery courses at his studio in Pasadena and mentored several notable students including John Follis, Rex Goode, and Malcolm Leland. Their work was discovered by New York entrepreneurs, Max and Rita Lawrence, who cleverly coined their pottery as “Architectural Pottery” and marketed it to California modernist architects for their case study houses.

Lot 7005 • LaGardo Tackett for Architectural Pottery TH-4 Planter

His pottery grew in popularity and through different partnerships and collaborations, “Tackett Associates” was created. Tackett was also introduced to Paul Schmid, owner of the large-scale porcelain manufacturing plant in Boston. Through this association, Tackett and his family spent time living in Kyoto and also Tokyo, Japan. In 1961, they moved back to the United States and settled in Connecticut. Tackett rarely strayed from his love of ceramics but in his later years he dabbled in different art forms. His collection of primal drawings was solo exhibited in Litchfield’s Oliver Wolcott Library in 1976.


Alderfer Auction sold several Tackett pottery pieces in the Fall of 2022 from the Andy Lin Collection. These primal drawings are from that same collection. The executor reported that Andy Lin purchased the drawings and black and white studio ceramics directly from Tackett’s Estate sale in Connecticut 40 years ago. These drawings will be available in Alderfer’s Spring MCM auction happening on April 27th, 2023.

Pictured here is where the works of art lived in the background of documentary photographs of his apartment in New Haven at the end of his life and most likely were the pieces he exhibited at the Oliver Wolcott Library in Litchfield, CT. The executor reported that Andy Lin purchased the drawings and black and white studio ceramics directly from Tackett’s Estate sale in Connecticut 40 years ago.Photos taken by Tim Nighswander.

Written by Hayley Schaffer