Newcomb Art Gallery at Tulane University is partnering with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service to present the largest, most comprehensive collection of Newcomb arts and crafts to tour the country in nearly three decades.
The show, “Women, Art and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise,” will run from Oct. 3 to March 9, 2014, at Newcomb Art Gallery before launching a national tour.
Critically acclaimed and highly coveted, Newcomb ceramics are considered some of the most significant expressions of American art pottery of the 20th century. The exhibition will feature more than 130 objects — the iconic pottery as well as lesser known textiles, metalwork, jewelry, bookbinding and works on paper. Samples of ceramics from the Newcomb Guild (1942-1952) will also be on view.
“The exhibition brings together a variety of objects created during the lifespan of the Newcomb enterprise,” said Sally Main, show curator and senior curator of the Newcomb Art Gallery. “The finest examples of the pottery art form will be displayed alongside pieces that will come as a revelation to many — not only a rich variety of crafts but also photos and artifacts that breathe life into the Newcomb legacy."
The Newcomb Pottery enterprise, in existence from 1895 to 1940, was established as an educational experiment of H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College, Tulane University’s former women’s college. The quasi-commercial venture offered an opportunity for Southern women to support themselves financially during and after their training as artists. Inspired by the flora and fauna of the Gulf South, the pieces offer insight into the extraordinary women who made a lasting impression on American culture.
Representing 45 years of achievement in decorative arts, the exhibit is supported by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, which were matched by supporters of Newcomb Art Gallery. From New Orleans, the exhibition will travel to the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, Ga., before continuing on an eight-city tour through 2016.