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Rudy Autio (October 8, 1926 – June 20, 2007) was an American sculptor, best known for his figurative ceramic vessels.

Rudio Autio was born Arne Rudolph Autio to a family of Finnish immigrants in Butte, Montana. As a child, he first learned to draw by taking evening classes from Works Progress Administration artists working in Butte. He served in the Navy for two years during World War II.

After the war ended, he studied art at Montana State University (then Montana State College) in Bozeman, where he first met Peter Voulkos, who became a lifelong friend. Autio earned a Master of Arts degree from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.

In 1952, Autio was a founding resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation. In 1957, Autio started the ceramics department at the University of Montana, in Missoula. He taught there for twenty-eight years and, until his death, he was retired as Professor Emeritus.

Autio's torso-shaped vessels are painted with figures and animals in a free linear style reminiscent of Matisse's drawings. They are found in permanent collections of museums around the world, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Brooklyn Museum, the Carnegie Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the Applied Arts Museum in Helsinki, and the National Museum in Stockholm.


  • Lackey, Louana. Rudy Autio, American Ceramic Society, 2002. ISBN 1-57498-144-7.


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