The Columbus Museum recently announced it will be displaying “The Beautiful and Practical: Newcomb College and American Art Pottery” exhibition. It will displayed from now until January 6, 2013. What’s so exciting is there are more than 80 selections of beautiful glazed or otherwise decorated American art pottery. While the “star” of the exhibit will be Newcomb College pottery, there will also be several metalware selections, textiles and other pottery exclusive to Louisiana. In fact, all of the pieces are from Southern collections and many of them are from the Louisiana State University Museum of Art. If you’ve not seen any of these displays before, this is a perfect opportunity if you’re going to be in or near Georgia over the holidays.
A few of those notable art pottery companies that will be represented include Cambridge Pottery, Fulper Pottery, Marblehead, Rookwood Pottery and one of our own favorites, Van Briggle Pottery. You can also expect to see several Weller pottery pieces as well. This is important for the Columbus Museum because it provides a perfect opportunity to show its own proud Newcomb Pottery vase, which was completed by the esteemed master decorator Sabina Wells.
American art pottery, especially those pieces from the turn of the century and even well into the 20th century, are handmade creations, ensuring no two are ever alike. The artists who played such pivotal roles in this amazing sector of American art were always very talented and most certainly in demand. What we’re left with here today is results of their tremendous talents.
While we typically collect art pottery for the beauty of each piece, they were often created to be functional as well. In some instances, the artistry was often a second consideration to the utilitarian purposes. Eventually, though, a shift began that resulted in a focus on the visual appeal. Lucky for us, there are still many collections and pieces for us to enjoy strictly for that visual appeal.
Of course, Newcomb College Pottery was born of a way to provide women in the southern region the opportunity to secure a trade. It was natural their jobs would be created in the arts. A lot has changed, but one thing remains true: women love a beautifully put together home and that was the draw for those seeking to learn more about opportunities in art pottery. Newcomb Pottery was founded in the 1890s at Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans and remained in business from 1895 to 1940. For many years, it was the only educational facility for these types of trades in the entire southern U.S.
About Columbus Museum:
As an American art and regional history museum, and the second largest general museum in Georgia, the Columbus Museum offers a diverse collection to the public. The Museum houses over 14,000 artifacts and objects that tell the story of the Chattahoochee River Valley’s development, an American fine art collection from a host of renowned American artists, a hands-on gallery for children, the finest traveling exhibitions from across the U.S., and the historic Bradley Olmsted Garden.
For more information about the Columbus Museum or the Newcomb College and American Art Pottery exhibition, please visit www.columbusmuseum.com.