Claude Horan (29 October 1917 – 11 June 2014) was an American ceramic and glass artist who was born in Long Beach, California. He received a BA from San Jose State University in 1942 BA and an MA degree in art from Ohio State University in 1946. His wife Suzi Pleyte Horan collaborated on many of the larger projects. He was a lifeguard and longboard surfer in Santa Cruz in the late 1930s, and is credited with naming Steamer Lane.
He started the ceramics program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1947. After a sabbatical in 1967 during which he learned glass blowing, Horan established a glass blowing studio at the university in 1968. In 1978, he retired from the University of Hawaii as a professor emeritus. Horan’s students include Toshiko Takaezu, Henry Takemoto, Chiu Huan-tang and Harue Oyama McVay, who became chairman of the ceramics program upon Horan’s retirement.
Cloaked Figure, from 1981, in the collection of the Hawaii State Art Museum is an example of the whimsical ceramic figurines for which he is best known. He begins with a cylindrical vessel on the potter’s wheel, onto which he sculpts human features. The Hawaii State Art Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design (New York City), and the Division of Ceramics and Glass of the National Museum of American History (Washington, D.C.) are among the public collections holding work by Claude Horan. His sculptures in public places include:
Untitled 1976 sculpture, Leilehua High School, Honolulu, Hawaii
Hoʻolaulea (1976) and Cecil (1976), Red Hill Elementary School, Honolulu, Hawaii
Vita Marinae, 1975, Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu, Hawaii
Na heʻenalu o kailua maluna o ke kilohana a na nalu, 1974, Kailua High School, Kailua, Hawaii
Kiʻi Kalai Mea Pa'ani Na Kamaliʻi, 1974, Kealakehe Elementary School, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
The Stallion and His Crew, 1979, Pukalani Elementary School, Pukalani, Hawaii
Moby Dick and Friends, 1980, Kekaha Elementary School, Kekaha, Hawaii
In the Spirit of the Koolaus, 1980, Kalaheo High School, Kailua, Hawaii