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Gordon and Jane Martz

Gordon and Jane Martz were a husband-and-wife design team best known for their modern ceramic housewares. Today, they have a permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York. From the 1950s to the 1980s, they produced table lamps and textiles through Marshall Studios in Veedersburg, Indiana. Marshall Studios was a family-owned and operated business created in 1922 by Jane’s grandmother Jessie Talbott Marshall. The company’s first offering was a line of hand-painted parchment lampshades, with an expansion into lamp bases in 1926. Gordon and Jane Martz joined the company in the 1950s, and by the 1960s, they were producing handmade textiles for lampshades, along with slip-cast lamp bases, tabletop tiles and dinnerware. Their slip-cast lamp bases were distinctive because each one featured a hand-incised decoration. Many of their pieces had a mid-century modern design style, and some featured striped or banded color patterns. Others had a color-blocked style, such as the caramel-and-cream glazed table lamp. In 1968, Marshall Studios obtained a government contract to produce lamps for the military. Gordon and Jane Martz sold their interest in the company in 1989 and retired to Fayetteville, Arkansas.