The Ceramic Research Center/ part one

In May, Chris and I spent nine days in Arizona visiting my son, Jeremy, and daughter-in-law, Stacy. We had a wonderful visit, spending the first few days hiking in Phoenix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon. During the weekdays, while Jeremy and Stacy were at work, Chris and I spent some time checking out some of the art in Phoenix.

On one of our day trips we visited the Art Museum at Arizona State University. Unfortunately, two of the museum’s three galleries were closed due to exhibitions being changed. However, across the street from the museum is The Ceramic Reasearch Center, and it more than made up for our disappointment regrading the closed galleries.

This rather drab building gives no clue as to the wonderful works exhibited inside.

The ASU Art Museum was one of a few fine art museums to consciously undertake the building of a contemporary studio ceramics collection at a time when craft-based media was relegated as a decorative or minor art form. From its inception, the collection was displayed in open storage. This concept allows year-round access to a majority of our permanent collection, providing students, scholars and the general public an opportunity to view important works.

Every year, the CRC features three to five exhibitions on important movements and artists who have made significant contributions in the ceramics field. The holdings demonstrate the full range of technique, aesthetic approaches and possibilities within the medium. Major artists represented in the collection include Rudy Autio, Hans Coper, Ruth Duckworth, Shoji Hamada, Karen Karnes, Bernard Leach, Maria Martinez, Otto and Gertrud Natzler, Lucie Rie, Edwin and Mary Scheier, Angus Suttie, Akio Takamori, Peter Voulkos, Kurt Weiser and Betty Woodman, to name a few.

Here are just some of the works that Chris and I viewed at the CRC.

As we walked through the door, we were greeted by the work of Robert Arneson.

Just a part of the collection on exhibit. The Pollack portrait is also by Arneson.

I love the scale, color, and energy of Viola Frey. Her retrospective at the MAD Museum last year was mind-blowing!

Untitled Sculpture by Judy Moonelis. This glazed stoneware piece stands four feet tall.

This is only ONE wall!

Untitled Podlike Form, by Graham Marks. 32"x33"x29", glazed stoneware.

After Dark, by Verne Funk; whiteware, stains.

Chris with yet another wall of great clay art!

Another piece by Arneson, one of his self-portraits for which he was well known.

My first encounter with Arneson’s work was at the Hirshhorn Museum, in DC, about ten years ago. I have been a fan ever since. Below is the pedestal for the piece above. I also think that a friend, Charleston, WV artist Mark Tobin Moore , resembles Arneson big time!


Trojan Frog, by David Gilhooly; glazed stoneware.

Vessel with Lid, Michael Gross; terracotta, engobes. This rascal stands two feet high and chock-full of fun imagery!

So this is just a taste of the CRC! I plan to post some pics in the next few days.


3 Responses to “The Ceramic Research Center/ part one”

  1. June 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Great Blog … Just sent this link to my friend Chris that teaches with me.. Her 3D Studio/Ceramics Kids will love this!

  2. October 8, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I recognized Viola’s piece right off the bat! I met and had dinner with her once. Ex- in-laws introduced us, they had one of her huge men out by their pool. I can’t remember more than that, I must be losing it.

  3. 3 Rev Kevin Lee
    February 25, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Were you a student of Henry Hank Keeling??? I am researching him and want to speak to those who knew him.. please email me if you would not mind talking about his works. thanks.

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