Peter Voulkos (American, 1924–2002) was a ceramic artist associated with the Craft-to-Art movement and best known for sculptural ceramics that emphasize imperfection and deconstruction. Born in Bozeman, Montana, he studied painting and ceramics at Montana State University and earned an MFA degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts. His early work focused on functional dinnerware, but he later began to manipulate clay for more aesthetic purposes. Voulkos was profoundly influenced by American artists of the New York School, such as Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008), John Cage (1912–1992), and choreographer Merce Cunningham, whom he met in 1953 when he taught a ceramics course at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. When he visited New York City, he met Abstract Expressionist painters, such as Willem de Kooning (American/Dutch, 1904–1997) and Franz Kline (American, 1910–1962), and was inspired to translate their spontaneity into ceramic work. He made many large clay sculptures, often in the form of ice buckets, plates, and stacks, which he then cast in bronze. His Missoula (1995) is an example of a bronze clay stack that is constructed from fragments of various shapes and sizes. Voulkos worked in bronze for several years during the 1960s before returning to clay. He began making plaques cast in a Japanese kiln, which produced rough, discolored ceramics that exemplified his love of spontaneity. Voulkos’s work is held in the collections of the Musée des Arts Decoratifs de Montréal, the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art in Shigaraki, Japan, and the Renwick Gallery of Contemporary Crafts in Washington, D.C., among other institutions.