Lounging in the 60s

Ceramic Planter

Object Name

Ceramic Planter



This 1960's ceramic planter offers few clues as to its origin. Its simple functionality speaks to mid-century modern design principles as it exhibits a functional smooth, rounded rim which tapers into a level base. Aligning with Olgivanna Lloyd Wright’s distinctive color scheme, this glossy burnt-orange glazed planter decorated the central lobby of the visitor center from its opening day in June 1967 until 2011. Although the planter’s sparse, unadorned surface was unlikely to garner much visitor attention, the plants inside probably did. We do not know what types of vegetation filled the container, but the mere presence of plant life in the visitor center no doubt served as a constant reminder to guests of the larger natural wonders waiting to be experienced outside the doors of Beaver Meadows.


Further Information

Charles Gordon Lee’s extensive set of furniture requisition forms indicate that Taliesin ordered several different planters to decorate Beaver Meadows, but this particular container does not appear on the manifest. Though it lacks any identification stickers or engravings, park collection records date it to 1964, three years before the visitor center opened. Perhaps Taliesin requisitioned the planter from its manufacturer on that date, or maybe it was originally part of a concurrent yet separate project and was relocated to Beaver Meadows because it matched the building’s general aesthetic. In any case, the planter decorated the central lobby of the visitor center since its opening day. The container was eventually removed from service at an undocumented date, only to be rediscovered during Beaver Meadows’ structural renovations in 2011.

The empty planter already occupied Beaver Meadows’ lobby months before the visitor center’s official opening.
- Courtesy of the ROMO Archive

Aside from a few scuffs and chips, the planter’s sturdy ceramic form has protected it from significant damage over the years, but also contributes to its substantial weight. It was even heavier when filled with seven gallons of dirt, and was therefore probably not moved around the lobby very often. Despite its fairly stationary placement amidst the constant flow and hustle of the busy visitor center, the planter ultimately exemplified Mission 66’s intention to keep visitors focused on the park itself. Containers such as this one served the larger purpose of bringing the living natural world into the visual make-up of Beaver Meadows, further accentuating the fusion of nature and artificiality that forms the core of the visitor center’s architectural style. 

This early postcard photo of Beaver Meadows shows the planter on full display by the rear alcove. Though it contains an interior plant, it nonetheless enlivens the brown and gray lobby with a vibrant natural green.
- Courtesy of the ROMO Archive


Collection Number

ROMO #27601

Date of Requisition



Ceramic Clay; Glaze


22" H x 20" D x .75" | 55.88cm x 50.8 cm x 1.9 cm



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