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Wednesday, April 26 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Whiskey Jugs And Tea Bowls: Conversations Between Japanese Mingei And Vernacular North Carolina Potters

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The study of North Carolina pottery is an emerging field within art history. Most texts on the subject were published after 1980, and are generally framed through anthropological lenses focusing on the story of the potters more than the objects they create. Current research also concentrates on potters working before the start of the 20th century and thus, before the beginnings of the studio craft movement (1940s to present). In sharp contrast to this is the study of Japanese pottery, a long-standing area of intensive research. Some recent scholarship has made visual comparisons between early wood-fired Japanese wares and North Carolina pottery, alluding to the growing interest in North Carolina pots as art objects, but little research has been published on interactions between the two artist cultures. This paper will examine the 1952 Pottery Seminar that took place at Black Mountain College, NC and the conversations between Japanese mingei artists and local vernacular potters that the seminar facilitated. Sources for this inquiry include primary documents from the Seminar, oral histories told by North Carolina potters, and the written philosophies of mingei potters. Through these references, work by vernacular potters will be recontextualized with a focus on functionality, process, and aesthetic values.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 2:00pm - 2:20pm
237 Owen Hall