Exploring The Everson Museum (Part 1)

The Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY, holds one of the largest collections of ceramics in the United States (over 6,000 pieces).

I contacted Garth Johnson, Curator of Ceramics at the Everson Museum, for guidance on how to approach this vast collection. We had a lengthy conversation about the museum, it’s history in advancing appreciation of ceramics as an art form, the collection itself, and his vision, as Curator, for working with and building the Museum’s ceramic collection. I’m dividing our exploration of the Everson into several posts due to the immense wealth of content to cover.

So – how can we best explore this museum collection?

Garth first pointed me to Scarab Vase, created in 1910 by Adelaide Alsop Robineau. It is a centerpiece of the Everson collection (one Everson director referred to this porcelain vase as the “Mona Lisa of the ceramics world”). Adelaide Robineau burst on to the international ceramics scene by exhibiting the work, and winning the Grand Prize, at the Turin International Exposition in 1911.

The Scarab Vase was exhibited around the country before being acquired by the Everson Museum in 1930.

Robineau reportedly spent over 1,000 hours creating the detailed surface decoration (left).

Interestingly, the Scarab Vase was one of several art pieces famously stolen from art collections in 1989.

I won’t spend too much time discussing the Scarab Vase because more details are available in….

The Everson Museum Blog

The Everson Museum maintains a blog featuring an “Object of the Week” from the Museum collection. This Museum blog is one way to explore the Everson Museum ceramic collection. The first Museum blog post, in fact, features The Scarab Vase. Although not all Objects of the Week are ceramic, many are. Here are several interesting blog articles featuring objects from the Museum’s ceramic collection:

The above are selected blog articles from the Everson Museum. Unfortunately, I do not see any index to artists or posts, or any way to filter the blog articles by type of work (e.g., ceramics), but that may come later. In the mean time, you can scroll through the blog pages to find articles of interest.

Upcoming in this guide to the Everson Museum Collection:

  • News about MILLIØNS, the new Everson Museum cafe that integrates contemporary functional ceramics with dining experience for museum patrons
  • Ceramic Object Study Sessions, a webinar-based investigation of different themes related to ceramics
  • Ceramics Database, a searchable, publicly-accessible online database of many of the Everson’s ceramic pieces

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