Form & Fire: American Studio Ceramics from the E. John Bullard Collection is on view at LSU Museum of Art, Baton Rouge, LA
July 8, 2021 – February 13, 2022
LSU Museum of Art (LSU MOA) in Baton Rouge, LA is pleased to present Form & Fire: American Studio Ceramics from the E. John Bullard Collection, an exhibition featuring a group of over 100 American studio ceramic works on long-term loan and are a promised gift by bequest to the LSU Museum of Art from E. John Bullard.
This collection will be studied over time by the public and students in support of LSU’s top-ten ranked ceramics program. This collection comprises artworks by 69 artists, including important figures in ceramics history such as Andrea and John Gill, Vivika and Otto Heino, Ken Ferguson, Wayne Higby, Roberto Lugo, Gertrud and Otto Natzler, Don Reitz, Daniel Rhodes, Richard Shaw, Charles Smith, Paul Soldner, Akio Takamori, Robert Turner, Peter Voulkos, Kurt Weiser, Marguerite Wildenhain, and more.
Most of these works are functional wares whose design, surfaces, and glazing activate our senses; the sculptural and visual/tactile experience is heightened through the hands of these master artists. The materials and techniques are unique in each work, while also acting in dialogue with history and each other. Ceramic art was reconsidered and recognized for artistic and historic achievement in 20th-century America. These artists’ aesthetic achievements rival the achievements of any other artistic medium.
In some cases, this collection contains multiple works by individual artists, showing a range of forms, styles, and glazing techniques. These works are important in the broad context of modern and contemporary art history. This collection will add significant depth to our ceramic holdings; the addition of these works expands the collection beyond the Newcomb collection, further into studio ceramics of the 20th century with important developments in scale and style. They join other works in the collection including ones by Walter Anderson, Piero Fenci, Sin-Ying Ho, Pres Kors, Shadow May, Robert Milnes, George Ohr, W. Steve Rucker, Sharon Smith, Akio Takamori, and Michaelene Walsh.
LSU MOA encourages you to contemplate these works in the broad context of modern and contemporary art history. The clay of the earth has been formed and fired and the magic of the kiln is evidenced within each work. This exhibition is curated by Daniel E. Stetson, Executive Director of the LSU Museum of Art. LSU MOA thanks the following sponsors for making this exhibition and catalogue possible: Partner Sponsors Catherine Burns Tremaine and Becky and Warren Gottsegen; Supporters Debbie de La Houssaye and Lake Douglas and Jacki and Brian Schneider (as of June 2021).
About the collector
E. John Bullard is Director Emeritus of the New Orleans Museum of Art. His distinguished career as Director and CEO at NOMA spanned 37 years. In retirement his artistic love has manifested in an abiding interest in ceramics and in a short seven years his collection has grown to around 1,000 objects.
The Boneyard: The Ceramics Teaching Collection
The LSU Museum of Art also presents The Boneyard: The Ceramics Teaching Collection, an exhibition that shows the energy and legacy of ceramics demonstrations through bisqueware.
Included in this exhibition are over 200 bisque works that provide a valued resource for LSU School of Art’s top-ten ranked ceramics program. The ever-growing collection will be displayed at LSU MOA to imitate the classroom use of the boneyard. The “boneyard” refers to bisque works and how they are stored in studio spaces for teaching and ceramics demonstrations. It’s known for its unique display on high shelves in the studio, with many bisque works together, showcasing a variety of techniques, improvisation, and skill. Faculty and instructors pull bisque objects from the shelves in order to highlight specific techniques and attributes of form, only to return the bisque back to the shelf so they can grab another set of objects.
This exhibition will feature rotating displays and a demonstration space that will be activated by MFA students, local artists, and visiting artists to allow museum visitors to share in the boneyard tradition—to watch clay transform and to see artist-specific techniques shared in the openness of the craft tradition. Artists featured: Andrew Martin, Kristen Kieffer, Jen Allen, Joanna Powell, Doug Peltzman, Lisa Orr, John Gill, Jeremy Brooks, Lauren Gallaspy, Kevin Snipes, Mike Jabbur, Mike Helke, Matt Mitros, Sam Chung, Matt Towers, Kim Dickey, Mary Louise Carter, Joe Bova, David Eichelberger, Matt Metz, Kensuke Yamada, Tip Toland, TJ Erdahl, Ryan Wilson Kelly, Jeremy Hatch, Jason Bige Burnett (additional artists may be added to this exhibition).
This exhibition is a collaboration between LSU Museum of Art and LSU School of Art and is curated by LSU Ceramics Associate Professor Andy Shaw, LSU MOA Curator Courtney Taylor, and LSU MOA Educator Grant Benoit.
LSU Museum of Art
Shaw Center for the Arts
100 Lafayette Street, Fifth Floor
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70801
Photos by Charles Champagne