American Masters

Tyrus Wong at the advent of Chinese Modern home decor


Well we can look at more things, maybe things you haven't seen in a long time. Here's something else which I think you may have forgotten. When Tyrus was a student at Otis one of his classmates went to work for the Winfield pottery in Pasadena.

She asked Tyrus if he would paint dinnerware for the company. In the early post-war period, they developed a style of home decor called Chinese Modern.

And Tyrus' dinnerware would fit perfectly in a home with that style.

This style of painting - it's like watercolor. You can't go back and correct it.

So every stroke is the first go. It's not just skill. There's something really beyond it - it's skill and inspiration.

I was still working at Warner Bros. you know. Sometimes I'd paint on Saturday. Also at night after I was through with Warner Bros. studio. Sometimes I'd paint until 10 o'clock at night or so.

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