Rudy Autio (1926- 2007) is considered one of the most important and influential ceramic artists to ever touch the medium of clay. His masterful works are in permanent collections of museums around the world including the American Craft Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Brooklyn Museum, the Carnegie Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, the Portland Art Museum, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Applied Arts Museum in Helsinki, the National Museum in Stockholm, and the Aichi and Shigaraki ceramic museums in Japan, Rudy Autio has left an indelible mark on the world with his art.
He studied at Washington State University (MFA), and became professor of ceramics and sculpture at the University of Montana in Missoula (1957). While his early pots reflected abstract expressionism, he is best known for his later figurative work. On anthropomorphic clay forms he superimposed improvisational drawings of women, landscapes, and animals to add pictorial qualities to his vessels. Rudy Autio and Peter Voulkos were the first resident artists at The Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.