SEMINARS At the Embassy Suites Hotel
Thursday 8:30 – 9:00 AM Coffee, mingling, announcements
Thursday, April 27th, 9:00 – 9:45 am | Presented By DJ Hellerman
“The Everson Strikes Back…”
The ceramics collection of the Everson Museum of Art is widely recognized for its magnitude and magnificence, and is notably one of the largest holdings of American ceramics in the nation. The collection started with an initial purchase of porcelain works by Adelaide Robineau in 1916, which eventually lead to the establishment of the Ceramic National exhibitions in 1932 (in Robineau's memory), one of the most important forums for ceramic artists in history. The annual juried exhibition was a scholarly, artistic, critical and popular success, and helped establish the careers of many influential artists of the twentieth century, including Waylande Gregory, Beatrice Wood, Peter Voulkos, Robert Arneson, Ken Price, and many many more. The series, however, eventually became the victim of its own success, having grown to an unwieldy size by the early 1970s. The Ceramic Nationals ultimately changed public opinion on ceramics (from craft to art form) and enabled the Everson to amass one of the most important collections of American ceramics in the world. In recent years, the Everson has been working on a massive project to digitize works from its American ceramics collection as well as archival documents from the Ceramics National exhibitions, providing scholars and artists with much greater access to these rare materials. This effort also underscores a new institutional commitment to resume a more active role in the acquisition, presentation, and interpretation of ceramics today. This presentation will provide a look into curatorial philosophies regarding the integration of ceramics within the larger contemporary art world as well as within the Museum's current collection and exhibition strategies.
DJ Hellerman is Curator of Art & Programs at the Everson Museum of Art (everson.org). A native of Ohio, DJ began curating and educating people about art while helping Progressive Insurance build a collection of contemporary art designed to encourage innovation and change. He received his M.A. in Art History from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH and his B.A. in English and Philosophy from Lake Erie College in Painesville, OH. He loves live music and literature as much as he enjoys visual art.
Thursday, April 27th, 10:00 – 10:45 am | Presented By Martha Vida
“It’s about the Clay: Documenting 20th-Century American Studio Pottery”
The American Studio Pottery Movement is not about a style or an approach to the medium of clay, it is about the clay itself. Like its medium, the Movement is messy—as is its documentation. This lecture will briefly examine the growth of supportive structures for studio potters in America, from the late 19th through the 20th century and the emergence of new approaches to the material, its art, the individual maker and approaches to marking. The story of the American Studio Pottery Movement is not linear. It grew out of many sources, such as the late 19th-century factories and settlement houses, the Arts and Crafts movement, the exposure to Japanese ceramics, the Works Progress Administration Project, Federal Art Project (WPA), returning World War II soldiers, the GI Bill and the effect of refugees immigrating to ceramic centers in the United States. The American 20th–century Studio Ceramic Movement has been mischaracterized by the image of an iconic self-sufficient, individual potter. It is instead the story of a community of ceramists driven to invent, discover, experiment, express, explore and ultimately push the limits of the medium of clay itself. This lecture will explore the Movement and the challenges of its documentation using the mark, back stamp, signature, chop, etc. as the primary identifier to recover the recent history of makers who, otherwise, might share the attribution “Anonymous.”
Martha B. Vida is the Executive Director of The Marks Project. Frustrated by the lack of a marks encyclopedia of American studio ceramics and disturbed by seeing living artists’ marked works listed as “…by Anonymous,” Vida founded The Marks Project as an online research hub of American studio ceramics 1946 to present (themarksproject.org). The non-profit website is a first of its kind to create accessible records for nationally and regionally known American studio ceramic artists. Vida has a BA in History from Boston University, is a book designer and is past president of the Connecticut Ceramics Study Circle.
FRIDAY, April 28th, 9:00 – 9:45 am | Presented By Mark Erdmann
“Architectural Ceramics: Conservation and Installation Methods for Glazed Ceramic Relief Murals”
This presentation will describe the conservation of three terra-cotta artworks by Cleveland artist and industrial designer, Viktor Schreckengost. The artworks include Mammoths and Mastodons, recently installed at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Early Settler (aka Johnny Appleseed) at Lakewood High School, and a group of tiles depicting extinct birds, recently re-installed at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. While these are all made of the same material, they each present different challenges for the conservators and installers. Also included in this presentation will be the conservation and remounting of the Cowan Pottery tile mural, Egyptian Maidens in a Garden by Elsa Vick Shaw, which required unique restoration and mounting techniques. This presentation is free and open to the public.
Mark Erdmann is the head of Objects Conservation at ICA (Intermuseum Conservation Association, ica-artconservation.org). He earned the Post-Graduate and Professional Development diplomas in Conservation/Restoration of Fine Metalwork from West Dean College, in West Sussex, England, and interned at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. He has been at ICA since 2006, where he routinely encounters a broad range of objects including outdoor sculpture, monuments, terra cotta murals and reliefs, as well as historic and artistic objects of all material types. He is a Professional Associate of AIC (American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works).
Friday 10 – 10:30 AM Socializing and choosing where to enjoy lunch and then spend the afternoon together. (Recommended options will be posted at the rear of the hall.)