Wisconsin Pottery Association
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Madison WI

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George Ohr
Biloxi Mississippi

Clay, Abjection, Wonder:
Illinois' Anna Pottery and its Influence on George Ohr

The slideshow talk first gives a reading of the great but unsung Illinois potting brothers, Cornwall and Wallace Kirkpatrick (1814-1890, 1828-1896) and their Anna Pottery (1859-1896).  The talk then traces the brothers' decisive influence on a central figure in the American Arts & Crafts Movement, George Ohr (1857-1918), arguably America's greatest potter.  Finally the talk gives a reading of Ohr solo.  The talk adopts a historical frame, but is primarily about ideas -- interpretive, analytical, normative, even political. Both the Kirkpatricks and Ohr have a significant interest in the psycho-social concept of abjection, that is, the experience of disgust and loathing that people feel toward certain matters (typically bodily excretions) to which the only possible responses are horror, nausea, or diversion.  The theme of abjection is the central axis around which the theoretical dimensions of the talk revolve.  A V-chip warning:  Given the nature of the subject matter, the talk includes both strong images and strong language which some people may find offensive. To be presented by Richard D. Mohr at the April, 1999 meeting of the Wisconsin Pottery Organization. 

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