Then, Now and Next

Studio Pottery in the Early 21st Century

Panel Discussion at the Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, NYC

Wednesday, April 7th, 6pm-7:30pm,

"Then, Now and Next: Studio Pottery in the Early 21st Century" will examine the role that pottery plays in American culture on the occasion of Greenwich House Pottery's 100th anniversary. What might we expect of our second century in light of where we've been? Three scholars will present their views:

GLENN ADAMSON is Deputy Head of Research and Head of Graduate Studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he leads a graduate program in the History of Design. His research interests include modern craft and design; furniture and ceramics in England and America in the 17th and 18th centuries; and decorative arts theory. Dr. Adamson is co-editor of the triannual Journal of Modern Craft, and the author of Thinking Through Craft (Berg Publishers/V&A Publications) and the forthcoming Craft Reader (Berg, 2009). His other publications include Industrial Strength Design: How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World (MIT Press), and Gord Peteran: Furniture Meets Its Maker (Milwaukee Art Museum). Presently he is working on an exhibition about Postmodernism, to be held at the V&A in 2011.

HOWARD RISATTI is Emeritus Professor of Contemporary Art and Critical Theory in the Department of Art History at Virginia Commonwealth University where he also was Chair of the Department of Craft/Material Studies from 2001-05. His writings on art and craft have appeared in various journals including the Art Journal, Artforum, New Art Examiner, Artscribe, Latin American Art, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Woman’s Art Journal, Art Criticism, The Studio Potter, Sculpture Magazine, and Ceramic: Art & Perception. His first book, New Music Vocabulary, was published in 1975 (University of Illinois Press); Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art appeared in 1990 (2nd edition 1998) (Prentice Hall). The Mountain Lake Workshops: Artists in Locale (1996, Anderson Gallery & VA Tech Foundation) accompanied the exhibition of the same title he curated. In 1998 he co-authored with Kenneth Trapp Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Smithsonian Institution Press). His latest book, A Theory of Craft: Function and Aesthetic Expression, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in October 2007.

JENNIFER SORKIN is a PhD candidate at Yale University in the Department of Art History. She is currently completing a dissertation entitled "Live Form: Gender and the Performance of Craft, 1940-1970". She writes: "While the 1950s can be characterized by a widespread attention to form in American arts and letters, exemplified by Abstract Expressionism and New Criticism, the handmade has been occluded in discussions of mid-20th century formalism. This project reframes mid-20th century formalism within a discourse of gender, craft pedagogy, and artistic labor between 1940 and 1970. The dissertation focuses on three American women ceramists, each of whom utilized form as a conduit for social contact: Marguerite Wildenhain (1896-1985), Mary Caroline (M.C.) Richards (1916-1999), and Susan Peterson (b. 1925). At a time when women were virtually excluded from painting and sculpture, studio craft provided a vital arena for women as teachers, thinkers, and makers." Her writing has appeared in Art Monthly, Art Journal, Frieze and Third Text.

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