Uncommon Glazes: American Art Pottery, 1880-1950 to open at Harn Museum

February 5, 2009

Gainesville, FL. --Visitors will have the opportunity to examine the superb craftsmanship and diversity of artistic ceramics made in America from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries through the Harn Museum of Art's newest exhibition, Uncommon Glazes: American Art Pottery, 1880-1950. Featuring 45 pieces by the leading art potters of the period, the exhibition will be on display Feb. 24 through Sept. 13.

"The exhibition celebrates the beauty and variety of artistic ceramics made in America during the period and highlights important innovations made by the leading art potters of the day," said Dulce Román, curator of modern art.

The pieces on display represent several key issues of the period, such as post-Civil War industrialization, the rise of the middle class and the role of women in the arts. The period of industrial growth following the Civil War led to an ever-growing middle class who wanted beautiful and well-made ceramics at affordable prices. Art pottery- pottery used for decorating and not for any practical function-played an important role in the decoration of middle-class homes in America beginning in the late 19th century. Although the roles of designer, clay worker and mold maker were usually filled by men, many art potteries employed women for the work of hand decoration.

Works by pioneers in the art pottery movement, such as Wheatley, Rookwood, Roseville, Grueby, Weller and Newcomb, demonstrate the great ingenuity and creativity of the leading American art potters. Several highlights of the exhibition include a vase hand-decorated by Rookwood artist Kataro Shirayamadani, a carved and painted Della Robbia vase by Roseville, a Grueby lamp with a Tiffany glass shade, and a rare set of matching lamps and clock decorated by Newcomb Pottery artist Sadie Irvine.

The works are on loan from several private collections, most notably those of Dr. Max Nickerson, a University of Florida herpetologist who has been acquiring American art pottery for the last 40 years, and the Two Red Roses Foundation in Palm Harbor, Fla. Nickerson will present a gallery talk on March 22 at 3 p.m.

Other related events include an exhibition spotlight tour on June 21 at 2 p.m. Dulce Román, the curator who organized the exhibition, will give a gallery talk Sept. 13 at 3 p.m.

Uncommon Glazes: American Art Pottery, 1880-1950 is made possible by Jack and Eileen Smith with additional support from the Eloise R. Chandler Program Endowment.

Admission to the Harn Museum of Art is free. For more information call 1-352-392-9826 or visit www.harn.ufl.edu.

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

The Harn Museum of Art at SW 34th St. and Hull Rd. is one of the largest university art museums in the country with nearly 7,000 works in its collection focusing on African, Asian, modern and contemporary art and photography. The museum enhances the activities of the University of Florida and serves a culturally diverse audience through educational programming. Admission is free. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Parking is free on weekends. The Camellia Court Café is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 352-392-9826 or visit www.harn.ufl.edu.

Media Contact

Tami Wroath
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Harn Museum of Art
1-352-392-9826 x2116, twroath@harn.ufl.edu