Cliff Lee came into prominence in 1993 when he was invited to contribute a piece of his work to the white house collection of American crafts.  two years later his work was in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art museum’s Renwick Gallery.  lee's “prickly melons” with imperial yellow glaze caught the eye of the metropolitan museum of art, which acquired a pair for its permanent collection - a rare distinction for a living artist.

it took Cliff Lee 17 years to recreate the formula for the imperial yellow glaze of the 15th-century ming court. the glaze is one of his biggest discoveries. blending technical precision and artistic vision, lee's one-of-a-kind pieces reflect his dedication to a purist aesthetic.

cliff lee's work "embodies the spiritual and tactile relationship with the object. he is addressing the history of the medium and making something fresh.” ~ Nicholas Bell, smithsonian american museum renwick gallery

Permanent Collections

Arizona state university art museum - Tempe, AZ
Carnegie Museum of art - Pittsburgh PA
Columbia Museum of art - Columbia, SC
Crocker art Museum - Sacramento, CA
Fuller Craft Museum - Brockton, MA
Metropolitan Museum of art - new york, NY
Mint Museum of craft & design - charlotte, NC
New Britain Museum of American art - New Britain, CT
Newark Museum - Newark, NJ
Peabody Essex Museum - Salem, MA
Racine art museum - Racine, WI
Smithsonian American art Museum, Renwick gallery - Washington, DC
St. Louis art Museum - St. Louis, MO
University of Kentucky art museum - Lexington, KY
White House Collection of American crafts - Washington, DC
Yale University Art Gallery - New Haven, CT


The white house collection of American crafts
Craft in America: celebrating two centuries of artists and objects
Skilled work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery
History in the making: Renwick craft invitational
Best of pottery, volume I
Best of pottery, volume II