Norse Pottery – Viking Bronzes to American Arts & Crafts: A Tradition Transplanted

Viking Bronzes to American Arts & Crafts: A Tradition Transplanted is a rare chance for art pottery PICT4200A enthusiasts to view a sizable display of Norse pottery.  From September 24 through November 30, 2008, the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin will be hosting an exhibition of this scarce pottery from the American Arts and Crafts movement. 

Museum visitors will find a unique collection of pottery that was created by Thorwald Samson and Louis Ipson, two Danish immigrants, during the early twentieth century.  In 1903, Samson and Ipson opened their pottery company in Edgerton, Wisconsin.  Their work was based primarily on traditional Scandinavian designs.  They used the forms and motifs of ancient Scandinavian artifacts as inspiration for their Norse pottery.  Their matte, black, metallic glaze and occasional green and gold highlights give their pieces the distinctive look of antiquity.

Guests who are visiting the Norse pottery exhibit will have two opportunities to attend visual presentations at Villa Terrace. On Sunday, October 12, Dr. Sheryl Samuelson will give a presentation entitled Norse Pottery: Viking Bronzes as American Arts & Crafts.  Dr. Samuelson is a prominent collector and pioneer researcher of this unique pottery.

On Sunday, October 26, guest-curator Nicol Knappen will give a presentation entitled European Elements of American Art Pottery.  In addition to being a former editor of the Journal of American Art Pottery Association, Knappen is a founding member and past president of the Wisconsin Pottery Association.  She will be sharing information about the origins of Norse Viking designs, which can be traced back to the Stone Age.

The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M.  Admission is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for seniors and students.  Children and museum members are free. 

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