North Auditorium Gallery, Ground Floor
Clay used in artistic expression dates back to the dawn of civilization. In the past three centuries, artists from the United States have contributed to this rich ceramic tradition with vibrant, original and intelligent expressions in clay. Varied forms, surface decoration, use of glaze for color combined with science and skill shows the full breadth of possibilities as demonstrated by this selection of ceramics from the Museum's collection. Any ceramicist knows that once the kiln door closes anything can happen...it is the magical part of this ancient art form. For many, firing is a final act; a celebratory moment fringed by anxiety and excitement. It can be communal by bringing together artists to fire their work together. Some say the fire itself can be brutal yet beautiful. It is the fire that gives these works of art their final form; thereby rendering them informed by fire.
Informed by Fire is on view to honor the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and its six thousand members who are holding their 44th Annual Conference "Independence" in Philadelphia in Spring 2010.
Elisabeth Agro, The Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts