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Then and Now and In Between: A Gift from the American Ceramic Society

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Then and Now and In Between: A Gift from the American Ceramic Society


July 21, 2007 - January 27, 2008: Dickson Gallery


Mint Museum of Art





For 109 years, the American Ceramic Society has successfully promoted the education and preservation of American ceramics. The society is the "world's largest organization dedicated to the advancement of ceramics." It currently boasts over 6,000 members and provides worldwide historical and current information on ceramics.


The Mint's exhibition will display works from a 2006 gift to the museum from the American Ceramic Society. Representing various styles and movements of American ceramics, the exhibit will show works by renowned potters and artists including Mary Louise McLaughlin, Rockwell Kent, Vicktor Schreckengost, and Frederick Hurten Rhead. In addition, the American Ceramic Society has contributed the handwritten lecture and lab notes (dating 1897-98) of Ross Purdy, student of Dr. Edward Orton. Dr. Orton was a seminal ceramic engineer professor at Ohio State University. Archival photocopies of the notebooks are available for viewing in the library of the Mint Museum of Art .





Resources in Print


  • Donhauser, Paul S. History of American Ceramics: The Studio Potter. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1978. NK 4005 D66. The book is devoted to illustrating world influences on American ceramics.


  • Ellis, Anita J. The Ceramic Career of M. Louise McLaughlin. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2003. NK 4605.5.U63 M354 2003. Biographical look at McLaughlin with insight into her personal struggles as a female artist. Photographs of her works and works from Rookwood pottery are included.


  • Levin, Elaine. The History of American Ceramics: From Pipkins and Bean Pots to Contemporary Forms. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1988. NK 4005 L48 1988. This book is an encyclopedic history of American ceramics from 1607 to 1987. Movements discussed include Art Pottery, Art Deco, Abstract Expressionism, and Post-Modernism with many examples provided for each period.


  • Perry, Barbara. Editor. American Ceramics: The Collection of Everson Museum of Art. New York: Rizzoli, 1989. NK 4005 E94 1989. Edited by Barbara Perry, Curator of Decorative Arts at The Mint Museums. The book is an excellent reference for American ceramics. Part catalogue and part history, the book provides brief descriptions of potters, potteries, and movements and an in-depth historical analysis of American ceramics.


  • Rago, David. American Art Pottery. New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1997. NK 4007 R2 1997. This book provides a clear breakdown of the famous potters and potteries in America. Included are a glossary and a "Who was Who" section.






Cincinnati Pottery Club- Founded by Mary Louise McLaughlin in 1879, the first women's potter club in America popularized decorative pottery by utilizing the under glazing technique.


Kent, Rockwell (1882-1971)- famous painter and illustrator. The Mint exhibit includes works designed by Kent.


Marblehead Pottery (1904-1936)- a small American pottery that was run by no more than six people at any given time. The work produced is famous for hand incised patterns, subtle contrasting colors, and painted geometric designs.


McLaughlin, Mary Louise (1847-1939)- In 1877, she became the first American to discover how to paint under the glaze revolutionizing ceramic making in the world. During her lifetime, she published several best selling books on ceramic making including a self help book on china painting and a manual for painting under the glaze. She was also the first American to work in studio porcelain.


Rhead, Frederick Hurten (1880-1942)- ran his own studio in Santa Barbara, California, from 1913-1917. He invented Fiesta dinnerware while working for the Homer Laughlin China Company.


Rookwood (1880-1960)- famous American pottery with its home base in Cincinnati. The seminal large pottery reflected the newest trends in the art world.


Schreckengost, Viktor (b. 1906)- artist and industrial designer who often utilizes his knowledge of engineering to create a distinct style of ceramics. In June of 2006, the Mint Museum of Craft + Design was one of the hosts for the National Centennial Celebration of Schreckengost's 100th birthday.



Online Resources



  • The American Ceramic Society This official society website features news on ceramics, a collection of links to magazines, journals, and bulletins, profiles on artists, and information on education in ceramics.


  • Ceramics Monthly The journal published by the American Ceramic Society includes biographies on potters, feature articles, and information on current exhibitions with some past articles archived for online viewing. Print copies of this journal are available in library of the Mint Museum of Art.


  • Potteries in America: A reference of short synopses on famous potteries in the U.S including Marblehead, Rookwood, and Newcomb.  Link is no longer available


  • Potters Council "With more than 2500 members, governed entirely by volunteers from the membership, Potters Council is dedicated to meeting the needs of studio potters and ceramics artists by providing forums for knowledge exchange and professional enhancement."




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