Ceramicist Robert Arneson was a significant figure in the Bay Area funk movement of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a dedicated and imaginative arts educator. Born in Benicia, CA in 1930, Arneson showed an early affinity for the visual arts, later focusing on cartooning and watercolor. He received his BFA from California College of the Arts, and worked as an art teacher upon graduating. Shortly thereafter, Arneson discovered the work of Peter Voulkos, and was inspired to work with clay. He went on to receive his MFA in Ceramics from Mills College, and continued to develop his ceramics practice. His work ranged from abstracted forms to figurative scenes and self-portraits, and is often imbued with humor and satire. Arneson highlighted the absurdity of the everyday and poked fun at himself, and human nature by extension. Passionate about political issues, especially ending nuclear armament and war, and fighting racial inequality, he also used his dark sense of humor to speak out against injustice through his work. In 1962, Arneson was invited to start the ceramics program at the University of California, Davis, where he built a dynamic department that emphasized collaboration between students and faculty. Arneson had his first solo show in 1960, and since has been shown extensively throughout Northern California, nationally, and worldwide. His work can be found in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Cleveland Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan; and the Australian National Gallery, Canberra. Arenson died in 1992 in his hometown of Benicia, CA.