Check out our updated Cowan Pottery Museum Page!

Our Library’s webpage for the Cowan Pottery Museum has been updated! Go to https://rrpl.org/cowan/ to see a gallery of highlights from our collections and stay up to date on all the Museum offers. Right now we are featuring the activities we have planned this month to celebrate 100 years of Cowan in Rocky River.

Make sure to check back this up coming Monday August 17th when the Museum’s first virtual exhibitions go live! These two exhibits feature a selection of historic photos from the Museum’s archives and give viewers the chance to see how these pieces were made and marketed.

The Studio on Lake
Cowan Pottery Studio in Rocky River

Cowan Style
The Photos that Sold Cowan Pottery

Walk through History with the Cowan Pottery Studio

Stop by and walk the front lawn sidewalk while learning the history of the Cowan Pottery Studio and the Cowan Pottery Museum.

From August 3-17, 2020, patrons are invited to Walk Through History with Our Cowan Pottery Timeline. Important dates in the history of Cowan Pottery Studio and Cowan Pottery Museum will be displayed on individual signs, spanning the past 100 years, on the Library’s front lawn.

Your Library Staff at Home- Arts and Culture Online

I thought this week I would highlight some of the craft and ceramic research resources across the state and the nation. These are a great place to explore the history of ceramics and see how our museum’s Cowan Pottery collection are part of a long legacy of craft and art.

First off we have The American Craft Council headquarters in Minneapolis, MN. They have put together a resource page for artists and makers. Their library has some great digital resources including an archive of:

  • More than 20,000 books and exhibition catalogues
  • More than 150 current subscriptions and 700 bound volumes of leading periodicals and newsletters
  • More than 3,000 files on individual artists containing unique photographs, slides, correspondence, and other ephemera
  • Council archives (1941 – present), including those of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts/American Craft Museum (1956 – 1990)
  • Archives of the World Crafts Council (1964 – present)
  • Archives of the Craft Students League of New York (1932 – 2005) 

Ohio Craft Museum, located just a few hours drive away, currently has their exhibitions online for people to enjoy. You will find high resolution photos of the objects from the artists and an exhibition catalog. Their Facebook page has interviews with artists who are included in their shows.

Just outside Los Angeles in Pomona, CA we have The American Museum of Ceramic Art. There are a variety of resources here. They have highlights from their permanent collection and their current exhibitions are now virtual. They also offer a resource page with information for artists, parents, and researchers.

The Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY is an institution with a Cowan Pottery connection. R. Guy Cowan moved to Syracuse after the studio closed its doors and worked as the chief designer for the Syracuse China Company. Their permanent collection holds works from many Cowan Pottery Studio artists. Many of these acquisitions were from the museum’s long running Ceramic National Exhibition. You can explore their archives, virtual exhibitions, and downloadable activities for kids and families. You can also enjoy lectures from with their Curator of Ceramics Garth Johnson.

Your Library Staff at Home- Arts and Culture Online

Today we are featuring an institution with a Cowan Pottery connection,

The MFA Boston has a selection of objects produced by the Cowan Pottery Studio, all designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

This includes an edition of the Jazz Bowl in the same style and surface design as the library’s edition.

The museum also has it its collection works by Cowan artist produced after the studio had closed in 1931. This includes:

Edris Eckhardt

Cigarette Jar, Attributed to Edris Eckhardt, 1930 -Cowan Pottery Museum, 1976.1.86.

Wayland Gregory

Margarita, Waylande Desantis Gregory, 1929- Cowan Pottery Museum, 1976.1.393

The collection can be searched just like previously highlighted museums. They offer the ability to sort it by region and time period making the navigation very easy.

The current special exhibition, Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation, has a devoted page to experience the work virtually. There are publications, essays, videos, a playlist, and a slideshow of images.

Additional Resources

The museum is a participant in Google’s Art & Culture Project.

There is a page devoted to videos where you can watch interviews with artists, experience virtual tours of exhibitions, and see conservation efforts.

And the museum has its own YouTube Channel,with a huge library of videos for patrons to enjoy.

Your Library Staff at Home- Arts and Culture Online

Hello All! Greg here, Cowan Pottery Museum Curator and Local History Librarian. During this time many museums and cultural institutions have expanded their already substantial online presence to give patrons remote access to their resources. Each week we will be highlighting a different institution and all of the free resources they offer. Whether you are looking for new educational opportunities, entertainment, inspiration for your own creative practice, or research resources for remote academic resources.

The first institution we will be highlighting is a local one:

The Cleveland Museum of Art.

Home

The Cleveland Museum of Art will be be coming to RRPL with the new speaker series:


Exploring the Collections

Celebrating over a hundred years (founded in 1916) this museum already offered many online and remote resources. Recently they have made it very easy to find all they offer by creating their Home Is Where the Art Is resource page.

On this page you will find links to search and explore their vast collections online. You can choose different stylistic periods, limit results by medium, artists, and culture. Some objects have video that allow for a more dynamic appreciation of sculptural pieces and information on the history of the piece.

Learn about their 30,000 public domain artworks and how they are being used in commercial and non-commercial ways. This resource also has 3D models that can be downloaded via Sketchfab.

Looking for some direction? You can hear from their staff with their Blog and new Video Series. A great resource when you are looking where to start.


Parents and Educators

Additional they offer some amazing resource for learners at any age with their:

And

Patrons can search these resources by grade level and topics to create engaging lessons about the history of art as well as connecting them to STEM.


Research

11 paintings
Artist: Frederic Clay Bartlett
11 paintings Artist: Frederic Clay Bartlett, 1918, Negative 00057, Cleveland Museum of Art Archives

The Museum’s library, Ingalls Library, has some amazing remote resources for researchers. I have personally used these resources when researching the artists of the Cowan Pottery Studio. Specifically their May Show Archive has been especially valuable to my research of Cowan Artists’ careers. When researching my talk for last year’s Cowan Pottery Symposium I was able to use their Entry Card Database to find the handwritten entry cards from artists like R. Guy Cowan, Edris Eckhardt, Thelma Frazier-Winters, and many more!

Cowan, Reginald Guy–1919 May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art Archives

To get familiar with these resources a great place to start is their Digital Collections. This page highlights their digitized resources and allows users to become comfortable with the interface.

The Editorial Photography collection gives you the opportunity to see exhibition’s from the museum’s past. You get the chance to see previous exhibits as well as how the museum’s appearance has changed over the years.

Gallery 27 - Year in Review

Gallery 27 – Year in Review, 1961, Negative
32720J, Cleveland Museum of Art Archives