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Warren MacKenzie dies at 94

World-famous Minnesota potter Warren MacKenzie dies at 94 The Stillwater-based ceramicist strove for utility and personal connection. By Alicia Eler Star Tribune, January 3, 2019 A generation of potters were influenced by "the Warren MacKenzie lifestyle." The Stillwater-based ceramicist strove for utility and personal connection. Born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1924, MacKenzie grew up in Wilmette, Illinois. His interest in pottery was borne of a fluke. In 1946, he enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was 22 and had just returned from World War II. He tried signing up for painting classes but they were all full. He took ceramics instead but found himself frustrated by the focus on technicality over aesthetics. Everything changed when a classmate gave him a copy of Bernard Leach’s “A Potter’s Book”, first published in 1940. As MacKenzie has written, “Leach defined the potter’s life in philosophical terms in which life and work were inextricably intertwined, and the goal was to make objects of utility and simple beauty.” MacKenzie apprenticed with Leach in St. Ives, England, from 1949 to 1952 with his first wife, Alix. From there they moved to Stillwater, converting an inexpensive barn into a ceramics studio. The couple threw between 50 and 200 pots per day, constant collaborators until Alix’s death from cancer in 1962. They had two daughters, Tamsyn and Shawn.   MacKenzie remarried in 1984 to textile artist Nancy Spitzer. She passed away in October 2014. In 1981, Ceramics Monthly named MacKenzie one of the 12 greatest potters in the world. He also won the 1999 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award, perhaps Minnesota’s highest honor for artists. His influence has been felt the world over, through workshops in South America, [...]

By |2019-01-07T16:49:38+00:00January 7th, 2019|Obituaries|Comments Off on Warren MacKenzie dies at 94

RIP Thomas Layman 1935-2018

Thomas Layman 1935 - 2018 Co-founder of the Minnesota Art Pottery Association Thomas E. Layman, physician, audiophile, lover of literature and art, passed away at 83 while surrounded by family on Monday, December 24, 2018. Tom was born August 13, 1935, in Sterling IL, the second of three children to Wendell and Jessie Layman. Following graduation from high school in Stronghurst IL, he attended the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana, where he earned his medical degree. As a physician, Tom practiced and taught medicine in Minneapolis and Iowa City, retiring from private practice in 2008. He stayed involved with medicine by being medical director at Biotest until October 2018. Aside from his passion for medicine, Tom deeply enjoyed music, collecting vinyl and putting miles on his tube-amplified stereo system. Tom loved art, and was the co-founder of the Minnesota Art Pottery Association, along with his former wife, Brenda, in 1984. He also enjoyed spending afternoons working in the yard and reading late into the night. He loved his family, his friends and his pup, Koda. Tom is survived by his children, Robert (Sheila) Layman, Jodie (Gary) Bramel, Ezra Layman and Isaak Layman; four grandchildren, Alec and Christopher Bramel and Sterling and Courtney Layman; former wife, Brenda Pearson; his sister, Joan (Don) Johnson; and brother, Jon (Donna) Layman; and many dear friends, whom he considered family. He was preceded in death by his parents; and former wife, Patricia. The Iowa City Gazette, December 28, 2018

By |2019-01-07T16:50:07+00:00January 7th, 2019|Obituaries|Comments Off on RIP Thomas Layman 1935-2018

Barbara Grant, RIP

Barbara Grant September 09, 1934 - September 06, 2018 Barbara Grant, 83, of Syracuse, Indiana, passed away Sept. 6, 2018. She was born Sept. 9, 1934, in Goshen, Indiana to Weddell and Dorothy (Compton) Berkey. She graduated from Goshen High School in 1952. She then went on to Gulfport College in Mississippi, before earning her bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She went on to become an elementary teacher for several years. A passionate traveler, Barb visited all 50 states as well as 160 countries. She was an avid gardener and antique collector. Barb was also an accomplished athlete, playing tennis and competing in water skiing, where she would become a Midwest champion. She handed down her water skiing abilities to her daughter and two grandchildren, who went on to become world champion water skiers. She was very active in her community, serving as director of the Wawasee Property Owners Association, as well as Tri Kappa, and many other organizations throughout the years. She is survived by her husband, Doug Grant of Syracuse; three sons, Jon (Mindy) Tully of Bristol, Indiana, Rob Grant of Elkhart and Jay (Staci) Adams of Indianapolis; four daughters, Jill Doyle of Little Rock, Arkansas, Jane (Scott) Greenwood of Little Rock, Arkansas, Pam (John) Grant-Clark of Plano, Texas and Julie Tully. Fourteen grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; two brothers, Jim (Anita) Berkey of Nashville, Tennessee and Dan (Marilyn) Berkey of Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was preceded in death by her son Jamie. Memorial contributions in Barb's name may be given to the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, Midwest Museum of American Art of Elkhart, or to the Wellfield Botanic Gardens of Elkhart. The family will celebrate Barb's life at [...]

By |2018-09-10T16:22:20+00:00September 10th, 2018|Obituaries|Comments Off on Barbara Grant, RIP

Gordon Hoppe

RIP Gordon. September 13, 1939 - March 18, 2018 Survived by wife, Susan; many cousins and friends. Gordon was a longtime member of the MN Art Pottery Association, 43 year employee of Pillsbury Co., and was an Executive Officer, 3rd battalion, 3rd infantry. Funeral Service Thursday 11:00 AM, at Gearty-Delmore Plymouth Chapel, 15800 37th Ave North. Visitation Wednesday 5:00 - 7:00 PM and also one hour prior to service. Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery

By |2018-03-23T17:31:37+00:00March 23rd, 2018|Obituaries|Comments Off on Gordon Hoppe

RIP Penelope Cloutier

Some news is unbelievable. Penelope Cloutier has passed from this life. In equal measures, Janis Joplin & Judy Collins, with a touch of Mama Cass, Penelope was the quintessential "California Girl". Truly incandescent, she illuminated every room, and improved every mood. Appointing herself my honorary big sister, she took a substantial leap of faith. Dreamer & doer, protector & mentor, she acted in my life in many & marvelous ways. My first journey to the West Coast, my first professional speech, my first visit to Disneyland; all were the result of her intercession. As siblings, we riotously laughed & cried, abraded & annoyed, admired, adored, & forgave. From our first conversation, to this moment & beyond, I cannot imagine her absence. I refuse to be sad; Penelope would not permit it. Mahalo, my beautiful sister. I love you, always. – Paul Katrich

By |2018-03-23T17:22:43+00:00March 23rd, 2018|Obituaries|Comments Off on RIP Penelope Cloutier

Michael Nickel 1934-2018

Michael Walter Nickel, affectionately known as "Nickel" by friends and fans, passed quickly and peacefully with his daughter by his side in Boulder County, Colorado. Anyone who ever crossed paths with Nickel in his 83 years of life left the encounter with a smile. Despite challenging circumstances in these final seasons, the punster always had a joke to share. He wowed docs, caregivers and friends with his charm and wit. Always the entrepreneur, he started his business career at a very young age. Buying ties in Chicago and taking them back to college in South Dakota, he started his first small business. Moving past college he made a name for himself in the advertising world, setting himself apart for his wit and creativity, winning numerous Addy awards. Finding his true passion in life, he became a founding member of the American Art Pottery association and authored several books. He is known throughout the US and around the world as the go-to resource on all things American Art Pottery. To his final days, you could show him a picture of almost any piece and he would recite a passage about that piece to rival any Wikipedia article. Mike is survived by his daughter Kimberly Rae Rouland, his son, Jon Nickel-D'Andrea, Son-in-law, Ben Nickel-D'Andrea and Grandsons Riley, Josh, and Dana, Sister-in-law, Dottie Nickel. Services TBD. If you would like notice of his celebration of life coming soon in G.R, please email Kimberly at KRaeosunshine3@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Humane Society or the American Art Pottery Association in Mike's name. Published in Grand Rapids Press on Jan. 28, 2018

By |2018-02-11T21:36:15+00:00February 11th, 2018|Obituaries|Comments Off on Michael Nickel 1934-2018

Jeanette Stofft (1925-2017)

Jeanette (Mrs. Marvin) Stofft has passed away. I know this news will be of interest to my many friends in the pottery community. Jeanette and Marvin were founding members of the Pottery Lovers event in Zanesville, Ohio in the 1970s, and shared their love of pottery with one and all. She and her husband also were Show Managers of the pottery show for all those years, and one thing Jeanette insisted on were pretty flowers in each and every booth. Sending condolences to her son, John, and all her family.   Published in Courier Press on Dec. 6, 2017 Jeanette Mulzer Stofft Tell City, Indiana Jeanette Mulzer Stofft, 92, died at her home on December 4, 2017. She was born on August 25, 1925 to Herman and Louise Mulzer of Evanston, Indiana. She married Marvin H. Stofft on December 28, 1950. Jeanette worked for Mulzer Crushed Stone as Office Manager for 28 years. She was a founding member of the National Art Pottery Lovers Association and enjoyed growing and showing hybrid tea roses. She was an active member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church and Ladies Guild. She is survived by her son, John E. Stofft of Tell City; granddaughter, Danielle Stofft Nord (Nathan) of Newburgh; two great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Morgan Nord; one sister, Irene Cole of Tell City; and many nieces and nephews. Jeanette was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Marvin of 46 years; two sisters Irma Kirsch, Mary Dixon; and three brothers, Arnold, Roland and Edgar Mulzer. Memorial contributions may be made to Emmanuel Lutheran Church "Worship for Shut-Ins". Condolences may be left online at zoercher-gillickfuneralhome.com

By |2017-12-31T19:47:13+00:00December 31st, 2017|Obituaries|Comments Off on Jeanette Stofft (1925-2017)

In Memory of Rosalyn “Roz” Abrams

Rosalyn Starke Abrams "Roz, " died suddenly 11 November 2017 at her home on Indian Lake, Ohio. Roz's death at a young 71 was caused by anaphylactic shock, the result of an unknown acute allergic reaction.  She is survived by her husband, Dr. Jeffery Abrams, son Lee and his family, and her daughter, Shari, and husband. Roz and Jeff Abrams were established figures in the pottery collecting community for decades. Their collections included Rookwood, Weller, Peters & Reed, Roseville, along with a fine selection of European ceramics. Roz was partial to Rookwood paperweights. They were active members of the AAPA, especially in the early years, planning auctions for the Washington, D. C. area conventions, etc. They were some of the earliest members of Pottery Lovers in Zanesville and attended every year. In later years, Jeff, a retired physician, no longer attended, but Roz was a faithful and happy participant at the event. There were no services immediately following her death, but there will be a tree planting and service in her memory in the spring in Ohio.

By |2017-11-20T01:23:48+00:00November 20th, 2017|Obituaries|Comments Off on In Memory of Rosalyn “Roz” Abrams

Kirkland Museum to Celebrate New Location

Denver, November 8, 2017—Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art’s highly anticipated new building at 1201 Bannock Street opens to the public on Saturday, March 10, 2018. The grand opening follows a week-long celebration of preview events including: • Thursday, March 1, 2018               Golden Gala • Friday, March 2, 2018                     Private preview for artists and designers in the collection • Saturday, March 3, 2018               Private preview for Kirkland Museum members • Sunday, March 4, 2018                  Private preview for community partners • Saturday, March 10, 2018             Grand opening of the new museum The Golden Gala celebrates Kirkland Museum’s new golden building and the museum’s relocation to Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District, steps away from Clyfford Still Museum and Denver Art Museum. Sponsorships to attend the gala and see the museum before it opens to the public range from $2,500 to $20,000. Individual tickets will be available in January, subject to availability. For more information, visit the Events page at kirklandmuseum.org or contact gala@kirklandmuseum.org or 303.832.8576 x801. The new museum offers far greater visibility for the museum’s three collections (international decorative art, Colorado and regional art and works by Vance Kirkland) which will complement the collections of the museums nearby and make it even more convenient for art lovers to experience all the internationally important artwork Denver offers in the Golden Triangle. Kirkland Museum features three principal collections including displays of over 150 years of Colorado art and almost 150 years of decorative art. The Kirkland is recognized as having one of the most important displays of international decorative art in North America from Arts & Crafts through Postmodern. The Colorado and regional art collection shows the span of local art history from 1845 through [...]

By |2017-11-08T21:22:56+00:00November 8th, 2017|Press Releases|Comments Off on Kirkland Museum to Celebrate New Location

In Memory of Hilda Pritsker

PRITSKER, Hilda Hildegarde "Hilda" M. Pritsker, age 87, devoted wife, mother, teacher, and renowned American art pottery collector, passed away quietly on October 19, 2017. Hilda was born in Philadelphia, PA, on July 18, 1930. She and her beloved husband Ted Pritsker moved to Dallas in 1959 and they raised their children, Andrew "Drew", Debra and David, in the Preston Hollow area. Hilda grew up in Philadelphia where she graduated from Temple University. She did graduate studies at the University of North Texas on the effects of barometric changes on emotionally disturbed children. Hilda then taught special education in an integrated classroom setting ranging from severely autistic to emotionally disturbed children in Richardson ISD for more than 25 years.   Hilda and Ted loved to travel and they went all over the world together. They had a special fondness for St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Together they collected American art pottery, including Roseville, Rookwood and Newcomb College pieces. Hilda had a keen eye and her American art pottery collection is considered one of the major collections in the United States, rivaling the exhibits at the MOMA in NY, the Morse Tiffany museum in Winter Park, Florida, and the Cincinnati Art Museum.   Hilda was born and raised Jewish, but truly began her formal Jewish education late in life. She studied and was a Bat Mitzvah when she was over 70 years old. She regularly attended Saturday morning Torah study with her friends at Congregation Ner Tamid in Carrollton. Hilda loved opera and classical music and attended Dallas opera productions with her family. She enjoyed walking in the pool, but strenuously avoided all other forms of exercise. Hilda was an avid reader throughout [...]

By |2017-10-25T17:46:57+00:00October 25th, 2017|Obituaries|Comments Off on In Memory of Hilda Pritsker