Pottery, Politics, Art: George Ohr and the Brothers Kirkpatrick
Understanding the passions fueling three of America's most provocative potters
Pottery, Politics, Art uses the medium of clay to explore the nature of spectacle, bodies, and boundaries. The book analyzes the sexual and social obsessions of three of America's most intense potters, artists who used the liminal potentials of clay to explore the horrors and delights of our animal selves.
The book revives from undeserved obscurity the far-southern Illinois potting brothers Cornwall and Wallace Kirkpatrick (1814-90, 1828-96) and examines the significance of the haunting, witty, and grotesque wares of the brothers' Anna Pottery (1859-96). The book then traces the Kirkpatricks' decisive influence on a central figure in the American arts and crafts movement, George Ohr (1857-1918), known as "the Mad Potter of Biloxi" and arguably America's greatest potter. Finally, the book gives a new reading to Ohr's contorted yet lyrical and ecstatic works. Abundant full-color and black-and-white photographs illustrate this remarkable art, with images of many Kirkpatrick and Ohr works being published here for the first time.
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