Ceramic sculpture of an apple, from a well-known series by clay artist Paul Bellardo. Bellardo, who lived in New York City for several decades and sold his work out of his own gallery in the West Village. He produced ceramic apple sculptures in a variety of forms and colors as a tribute to "the Big Apple" beginning in the late 1970s. His apples have been collected or presented to numerous celebrities including Doris Day, Sandy Duncan, Ann Miller, former New York City mayor David Dinkins, former president Ronald Reagan and actress Elizabeth Taylor, who was photographed with Bellardo presenting her a violet-colored apple "to match her beautiful eyes." The apple offered here came fairly early in the series, in 1981, and like others he produced, is realistic in form though not necessarily in color. Here the leaf is green but the apple and stem have a white glaze with a delicate crackle pattern.
Paul Bellardo is an American ceramic sculptor in a Modernist style. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and took his first ceramics class in 1945 while serving in the army in New Orleans. He eventually graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and taught there for 10 years. He received a travel scholarship from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. His first solo show in 1965 at the DeCordova Museum of Fine Arts in Provincetown, Massachusetts, resulted in the sale of 18 pieces to Walter P. Chrysler for the permanent collection of the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia. He also has exhibited at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum, and the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, and has works in numerous museum collections, including the New Orleans Museum of Art. Bellardo also sold his work out of his galleries of contemporary art and crafts in Provincetown and New York City. He retired to California.
Reference:"Paul Bellardo, Artist." Paul Bellardo. http://www.paulbellardo.com (8 December 2016).