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Clare Twomey, artist and Reader of Ceramics Research, University of Westminster; Magdalene Odundo, studio potter; Simon Olding, Director, Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, UK; Glenn Adamson, Senior Research Scholar, Yale Center for British Art; and Martina Droth, Deputy Director of Research and Curator of Sculpture, Yale Center for British Art

Join the curators of the exhibition “Things of Beauty Growing”: British Studio Pottery for a program that examines the field of British ceramics. Following an introduction by Martina Droth, a panel discussion chaired by Glenn Adamson considers the deep history, present position, and possible new directions of studio pottery in Britain. Participating in the panel are Simon Olding; Magdalene Odundo, a potter who synthesizes myriad sources into serenely resolved, sculptural forms; and Clare Twomey, the artist whose monumental eighty-vase installation, Made in China, populates the Entrance Court and other spaces in the Yale Center for British Art this fall.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510
 

Bernard Leach, Charger, Tree of Life, 1923–25, earthenware, brown slip, and a galena glaze, The John Driscoll Collection, New York, photograph by Joshua Nefsky

Jenni Sorkin (Yale PhD 2010), Associate Professor, History of Art & Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara, considers the gendered history of American ceramist Adelaide Alsop Robineau’s famed, labor intensive Scarab Vase (1910) as an unlikely precursor—one hundred years later—to digitally printed clay, utilized today by ceramists working in the 2010s.

For more information, visit Graduate Student Symposium | Long Shadows: Tradition, Influence, and Persistence in Modern Craft.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Image credit: Jennifer Lee, hand-built pots in the studio (1993, 1991, 2008), Collection of the artist, London, photograph by Jon Stokes, © Jennifer Lee 

In his 2003 article “The Long Shadow of William Morris,” Edward S. Cooke Jr. argued that “American scholars of twentieth-century material culture remain mired in the celebration of either individual craftspeople or designers and emphasize historical narrative at the expense of critical analysis or interpretation.” Cooke ascribed this limited view, in part, to the influence of the arts and crafts movement advocate William Morris, whose emphasis on individualism discouraged an understanding of craft’s true social and economic role.

In the years since Cooke’s article, a new generation of scholars has begun to construct an alternative map of modern craft—one in which the idealistic figure of the solitary studio craftsman has been displaced from the center, making way for a multidimensional account of skills at work in myriad kinds of situations. Building on these new approaches, this symposium looks at some of the questions that remain. One of these is the proper understanding of what Cooke called “historical narrative” in the analysis of modern craft. Should we resist conceptions of tradition as inherently vague and mystifying? Or does tradition still have an important role to play, as an anchor and binding agent? How should we understand the phenomenon of knowledge transmission, once guild-based apprenticeships began to decline drastically in the nineteenth century? Most generally, what role does the past play in contemporary making?

For more information, visit Graduate Student Symposium | Long Shadows: Tradition, Influence, and Persistence in Modern Craft.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Image credit: Jennifer Lee, hand-built pots in the studio (1993, 1991, 2008), Collection of the artist, London, photograph by Jon Stokes, © Jennifer Lee