Newcomb Pottery exhibit

Newcomb Pottery exhibit opens on campus

October 2, 2013 11:00 AM

Barri Bronston

The largest, most comprehensive collection of Newcomb Pottery to tour the country in nearly three decades opens Thursday (Oct. 3) atNewcomb Art Gallery on the Tulane University uptown campus. In conjunction with the exhibit is the release of a stunning coffee table book that examines the full range of artwork and the pioneering women behind it.

A coffee table book that accompanies the exhibit examines the artwork and the pioneering women behind it. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

The 330-page book, The Arts & Crafts of Newcomb Pottery, features photographs of 250 objects created between 1890 and 1940 as part of the Newcomb Pottery Enterprise, an H. Sophie Newcomb College program that gave Southern women an opportunity to design and exhibit utilitarian works of art.

In addition to the celebrated pottery, the book features photos of lesser known textiles, jewelry, metalwork, bookbinding and graphics.
The book includes text by Newcomb Art Gallery senior curator Sally Main and decorative arts scholars from across the country. It concludes with biographical notes on 60 Newcomb Pottery decorators.

“Like the historic college itself, Newcomb College’s arts and crafts enterprise changed the lives of women,” Sally J. Kenney, director of the Newcomb College Institute, writes in the book’s preface.
In addition to using their talents to become professional artists, “they used their training to become draftswomen, designers, art teachers, graphic designers, city planners and experts in a host of other fields,” Kenney said.

Approximately 140 items featured in the book will be part of the exhibition, “Women, Art and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise.” Co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the show will be on display in the Newcomb Art Gallery through March 9, when it will go on a national tour.

The book, published by Rizzoli of New York, is available for purchase at the Newcomb Art Gallery or through the publisher. The softcover cost is $45 ($36 for gallery members), and the hardcover cost is $70 ($56 for members). To order through the gallery, call 504-865-5328.