Santa came a little early last week when I had the opportunity to preview the encyclopedic exhibition of Pewabic Pottery opening Saturday at Cranbrook. One of the largest private collections in the nation, “Simple Forms, Stunning Glazes” features the 117-piece collection of Gerald W. McNeely, recently donated to Cranbrook by the New York-based collector. I toured the luminous exhibition with director of the Center for Collections and Research’s Gregory Wittkopp and collections fellow Stefanie Dlugosz-Acton, who curated the exhibition. Both shared their thoughts about the collection and exhibition with Trash or Treasure readers. Who is Gerald McNeely? Why did he collect Pewabic? GW: Gerald McNeely lives in New York City, where he studied painting and drawing at the Cooper Union, developed a career working as a graphic designer and commercial illustrator, and socialized in a circle of artists that included Andy Warhol. Although he considers himself a New Yorker, he was born ...Read More
Mary Chase Stratton for Pewabic Pottery (Maker) Jar, 1932, or earlier Born 1867. Hancock. Michigan; died 1961. Detroit. Michigan Pottery: Pewabic Pottery. Detroit, Michigan Cast stoneware clay 9 1/2 x 7 (diameter) inches Gift of George Gough Booth and Ellen Scripps Booth through The Cranbrook Foundation CAM 1932.13 Mary Chase Stratton's interest in ceramics began as a teen when she studied china painting in Detroit with Bohemian artist Franz Bischoff. After studying at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Stratton helped establish the Detroit Keramic Club and later studied with Charles F. Binns in New York. At the turn of the century, Stratton began experimenting with various glaze formulas and firing techniques with Horace I. Caulkins, inventor of the Revelation China Kiln. Together they founded Pewabic Pottery in 1903. At the request of Pewabic enthusiast Charles Lang Freer, Stratton began experimenting with iridescent glaze effects and her interest shifted from form to color. This classic Arts and Crafts vase ...Read More
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