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A Thriving Tradition: 75 Years of Collecting North Carolina Pottery

12 November 2011 - 10 March 2013

Mint Museum Randolph


11 November 2011 - 28 January 2012

North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC



Benjamin Wade Owen, American, 

1904-1983. Han Vase,

ca. 1937, earthenware.

Gift of Mrs. Carol Wright

Burlon Craig, American, 1914-2002.

Face Jug, ca. 1978, stoneware.

Gift of Daisy Wade Bridges 

Eric Knoche, American, active 2002-present. 

Large Vessel, 2010, stoneware.

Gift of Delhom Service League

2010 Potters Market Invitational     



As part of The Mint Museum's 75th anniversary celebrations, A Thriving Tradition: 75 Years of Collecting North Carolina Pottery pays tribute to the collectors who helped establish The Mint Museum's astounding collection of North Carolina pottery.  In 1937, the newly established Mint Museum of Art received four pieces of pottery by Benjamin Wade Owen as gifts: one from Mrs. Carol Wright and three from Mrs. Mary Myers Dwelle.  Over the intervening years, the collection has grown to over 2,100 objects, becoming the largest collection of North Carolina pottery in the country.  The collection has developed in large part due to the passion, connoisseurship and generosity of key collectors of North Carolina pottery.  In addition to objects from the permanent collection, the exhibition will include loans from members of the Delhom Service League, an affiliate group of The Mint Museum.  The exhibition at The Mint Museum will run concurrently with one at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, N.C.  Both institutions will feature works that range from the early nineteenth-century to the present and represent the major pottery regions of the state. 


Key Collectors


Delhom Service League

  • Members of the Delhom Service League of The Mint Museum play a vital role in promoting the state's most important craft as patrons of the potters and through the annual Potters Market Invitational. 
  • The 7th Annual Potters Market Invitational is scheduled for 10 September, 2011, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Mint Museum Randolph. 


Past Exhibitions at The Mint Museum

  • Piedmont Crafts Exhibition: Wood, Medal, Glass, Clay, Fiber.  Annual exhibitions 1964 - 1982.
  • O.L. Bachelder and His Omar Khayyam Pottery, 20 November 1983 -3 January 1984
  • In Prayse of Pots: Walter and Dorothy Auman Collection of N.C. Ceramics, 3 July 1992 - 28 February 1993 
  • Built Upon Honor: Ceramic Art of Ben Owen and Ben Owen III, 16 June 1995 - 15 January 1996. 
  • Ceramic Art of N.C., 8 February - 18 May 1997 
  • Billy Ray Hussey: North Carolina Visionary Potter, 18 December 1997 - 4 January 1998.
  • O.L. Bachelder: A Mountain Visionary, 8 November 2003 - 4 April 2004. 
  • Pisgah Forest: The Pottery of Walter B. Stephen.  17 April - 5 September 2004.
  • North Carolina Pottery: A Restless Tradition.  30 October 2004 - 27 February 2005.

  • Buncombe County Pottery from the Leftwich Collection, 11 March - 12 November 2006.

  • N.C. Pottery from the Elizabeth and Leo Kohn Collection, 5 August - 5 November 2006.

  • The Craven Family of North Carolina Potters, 30 August 2008 - 22 February 2009. 

  • North Carolina Pottery: Diversity and Traditions, 6 February 2010 - 11 September 2011.





Many of the above titles and more on North Carolina Pottery are available from the Mint Museum Shops


Selected Online Resources for North Carolina Pottery




Created by Megan Westmoreland.  Intern for the Mint Museum Library.