1st Edition

Contemporary Clay and Museum Culture

Edited By Christie Brown, Julian Stair, Clare Twomey Copyright 2016
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    246 Pages
    by Routledge

    This groundbreaking book is the first to provide a critical overview of the relationship between contemporary ceramics and curatorial practice in museum culture. Ceramic objects form a major part of museum collections, with connections to anthropology, archaeology and other disciplines that engage with the cultural and social history of humankind. In recent years museums have provided the impetus for cutting-edge artistic practice, either as a response to particular collections, or as part of exhibitions. But the question of how museums have staged contemporary ceramics and how ceramic artists respond to museum collections has not been the subject of published research to date. This book examines how ceramic artists have, over the last decade, begun to animate museum collections in new ways, and reflects on the impact that these new initiatives have had in the broad context of visual culture. Ceramics in the Expanded Field is the culmination of a three-year AHRC funded project, and reflects its major findings. It brings together leading international voices in the field of ceramics, research undertaken throughout the project and papers delivered at the concluding conference. By examining the benefits and constraints of interventions and the dialogue between ceramics and museological practice, this book will bring focus to an area of museology that has not yet been theorized, and will contribute to policy debates and art practice.

    Preface; Introduction: ceramics in a place of cultural discourse, Clare Twomey. Section 1 The Expanded Field: Productive friction: ceramic practice and the museum since 1970, Laura Breen; The walls come tumbling down, Martina Margetts; Damaging the historic fabric: Keith Harrison at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Alun Graves; Out of the studio, Tanya Harrod. Section 2 The Museum as Context: Ceramics on show: domesticity, destruction and manifestations of risk-taking, Laura Gray; Ceramics process in the museum: revolution or recidivism?, Glen R. Brown; The anatomy of a home: Saarinen House, Anders Ruhwald; Jung's amphora: ceramics, collections and the collective unconscious, Mella Shaw. Section 3 Audience Engagement: Ceramic art in social contexts, Tessa Peters; A show of hands: the spectacle of apprenticeship, Kimberley Chandler and Stephen Knott; Cotton fields and baseball fields, Theaster Gates; Crinson Jug from clay to the grave (and beyond): exploring the ceramic object as a gathering point, Christopher McHugh. Section 4 Process and Material: The art of appropriation, Jorunn Veiteberg (translated from Norwegian by Douglas Ferguson); Collected activity: making in the museum, Phoebe Cummings; We claim the bowl in the name of craft, Namita Gupta Wiggers; Love notes to buddhas: are you land or water?, Linda Sormin. Section 5 Curation and Authorship: Possibilities regained: transitions through clay, James Beighton; Edmund de Waal at Waddesdon, Juliet Carey; Queering the museum, Matt Smith; Ego and salve in the Gardiner Museum, Rachel Gotlieb. Index.


    Christie Brown is an artist, researcher and Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster, UK.

    Julian Stair is a potter and writer.

    Clare Twomey is an artist and curator and Researcher at the Ceramics Research Centre, University of Westminster, UK.


    ’This volume exemplifies cutting-edge thinking about ceramics, and benefits from the strong research culture in British crafts more generally. Editors Brown, Twomey and Stair skillfully work from their basis in practice to propose important new ideas about this dynamic artistic field.’ Glenn Adamson, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA

    "Contemporary Clay and Museum Culture is the first book of its kind to provide a critical overview of the relationship between contemporary ceramics and curatorial practice in museum culture" – Ceramic Review, 2017