The essays take different perspectives on the region’s dynamics, together presenting an in-depth analysis of the complex and diverse factors that created a fertile ground for ceramics.
Elaine Levin introduces the major figures in ceramics from the 1920s through the postwar years and outlines Southern California’s ceramic history and aesthetics.
Harold B. Nelson sketches a biographical portrait of Millard Sheets that shows the artist and administrator’s multifaceted roles.
Christy Johnson recounts the story of a little-known potter, Marian Moule, that illuminates the broader experiences of the student and aspiring ceramist in the 1950s and 1960s.
Jo Lauria describes new avenues to show and sell – craft competitions, interior design showrooms, and art fairs – and illustrates successful marketing tactics with case studies.
Dr. Billie P. Sessions chronicles the evolution of college-level ceramic education and compiled an appendix of Southern California colleges, instructors and students.
James F. Elliot-Bishop provides a chronology of Gladding, McBean, an early innovator of ceramic technology, that evolves through mergers into Interpace, a company that employs ceramicists to design dinnerware for commercial production and produce original tile murals.
Dr. Cecile Whiting surveys the broader Los Angeles art scene, offering a balanced and scholarly analysis of the trends that persisted and the new artists who emerged by the 1970s.