Wednesday, March 17, 2004

"Common Clay: Creating Old and New Ceramics" - Indiana Historical Society - March 17, 2004 - 3 stars

This is an overview of Indiana's pottery history, including a manufactured piece from the American Art Clay Company (AMACO), which mainly sells pottery supplies now. Most intriguing were examples by the Overbeck sisters, who produced work from their Cambridge City home (now a museum) from 1911 until 1955, when the last living sister, Mary Francis, died. Lovely, abstracted flower patterned vessels (probably thrown by Elizabeth and decorated by Hannah) are exhibited alongside little people and animal figurines, known as "grotesques" or "humor of the kilns" that the sisters made to earn pocket money. An exhibition on the unmatched Arts and Crafts sisters (who took their art secrets to their graves) alone would be most welcomed as this little element of the exhibition was great. Exceptional contemporary pottery pieces flank the second floor, like "Mother's Milk" by Kathy Roussel. It's a white shiny porcelain wall sculpture of three stacked utter covered round forms. A wonderful show overall, it's unfortunate that the pieces were distributed so thinly throughout the facility instead of dedicating a concentrated gallery space to this exhibition effort. Through June 6, 2004; 317-232-1882. -Mary Lee Pappas

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