Saturday, July 16, 2016

Newcomb Pottery Exhibit Inspired Me!

A good percentage of my blog is about inspiration!
Everywhere I look, I am inspired; to mix colors in a new way, to create a piece of artwork, a new pattern or collection, to re-arrange my home for a new feel. I try not to name every blog post "inspiration" but it is difficult because I walk through the streets of NYC or the sidewalks down at the beach and I am always stopping to capture something that catches my eye, something that "inspires" me!
I went with a friend to the Princeton Art Museum, I got side tracked while there and blogged about this trip and Josef Albers in an earlier post about color. We were actually going to attend a guided tour through the Newcomb Pottery Enterprise exhibit, with a wonderful docent; Allegra! Not only was the pottery and artwork inspiring, but the whole idea behind the exhibit itself intrigued me.
The H.Sophie Newcomb Memorial College for Women, a division of Tulane, which at the time was an all male University offered an education to women to prepare them for work in the arts. After the Civil War in New Orleans an experiment to train women as artists, to create original artwork on pottery, to support themselves, during this difficult time was started. There is a fantastic article, by a friend Ilene Dube, about the exhibit you can read here.
I was fascinated by the exhibit and the article is a wonderful summary of all I learned that day. These women created unique works of art; the style and genre were the same, but each piece was unique unto itself... there were no duplicates created. The look of Japanese artistry mixed with the Southern flora and fauna were so creative and you could see how they developed over time. As the years went on, the art created gained much acclaim and won many awards!
The funniest thing about this trip is that on a walk through the campus, headed to the art museum, there were beautiful daffodils; yellow petals with long green stems reaching for the sun - I had to stop to take a photo....little did I know it was a glimpse into what I was about to see! Magnificent works of art, many with yellow daffodils and lilies, all came to life on vases and plates, all unique, all created so many years ago out of necessity to support themselves. I felt the NEED to go home and create my own pattern, so I could feel part of this movement!

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