Hill / James

Ceramics by Tony Hill (1908-1975)
Hill was a noted Africa American artist who studied ceramics under Glen Lukens at USC. He ran a successful ceramics studio in Los Angles that was in business for over 30 years. His bio in A Handbook of California Design, 1930-1965: Craftspeople, Designers, Manufacturers describes him as a prominent member of the Los Angeles African American artistic circle and a role model for younger artists in the community, including John W. Outterbridge.  Ads for his company were a common sight in Arts & Architecture magazine in the 1950s. Considering his notoriety and time in business, it would be expected that more of his work would show up on the secondary market, but examples seems scarce
Source: Arts & Architecture, 1952

Source: Jet Magazine, 1953

An ultra-modern home in 1953 sounds good. I wonder who the architect was? 

Tony Hill

Tony Hill

Source: Jet Magazine, 1957

Source: Arts & Architecture, 1952

Source: Jet, 1954
In a another 1954 Jet article it states... "eligible bachelor, rugged ceramic designer Tony Hill, also dropped in on New York from Los Angeles and lived it up for a week before embarking on a business trip to Africa". He was previously married to actress Frances Williams for nine years. They divorced in 1948. 
Wilmer James (1917-1999)
James, also a student at USC, worked for Barbara Willis. The influence is hard to miss. With encouragement from Glen Lukens, she went into a short-lived business with Tony Hill. As noted in California's Designing Women 1896 - 1986 James went into business for herself in 1953. Her business did not last past the 1950s and she later became a distinguished educator in the Los Angeles area.
Wilmer James lidded box

How do you handturn a box?

This piece is by Arthur Macbeth. It was in this stash of James and Hill ceramics I found this weekend. Wilmer James, Tony Hill and Doyle Lane are noted to be the only African American ceramic artists known to be working in California in the early- to mid-1950s.
I'm wondering if Macbeth might be another? Truth be told I have no idea who he was or even if he was African American. The only person I was able to uncover who had the same name was a noted African American photographer who did move to Los Angeles in 1937. He died in 1944.