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Traveling Exhibitions

The American Museum of Ceramic Art has a number of traveling exhibitions available to your institution. Each is a theme-based presentation organized to advance the appreciation and understanding of ceramic artists, ceramic objects, and the historic significance of clay. These exhibitions are available for loan, to be shown in their entirety or customized to fit your organization’s needs and are appropriate for adults, families and students ranging from middle school to college. If you are interested in hosting one of these exhibitions please contact Andrea Rubino by email or by phone (909) 865-3146.

Blazing Transcendence: The Unconventional Sculpture of Paul Soldner

ps39Recently the ceramic community lost an outstanding, nationally celebrated, clay artist. Paul Soldner (1921-2011), recognized for his outstanding ceramic work, stimulating workshops, and dedicated teaching. He inspired creativity in countless followers. During his career, Soldner moved through a number of transitional phases: his early thrown, impossibly tall, cylindrical “floor pots” that made up his masters show at Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design); his personal interpretation of raku that came to be known as “American Raku;” and his experimentation with low-temperature salt and wood firings to achieve spontaneous surfaces.

Many of his sculptures, often the theatrical output of his numerous workshops and demonstrations, were made by joining together a concretion of slabs and distorted vessels into a single statement. The surfaces were often impressed with multiple textures and images. There are tea bowls, rustic containers that exude the simple wabi-sabi aesthetic—a lack of self-consciousness. There are a number of off-center, tilting vase forms that also exemplify the end result of unanticipated happenstance. Though Soldner was not without in-depth technical knowledge, his works emphasize the serendipitous: the flash of an iridescent color, the texture of added grog, or the rivulet of melted ash. The beauty of Soldner’s ceramic art is brought out by the capricious flare of the flame as it comes in contact with the surface of each pot.


The exhibition includes condition reports, labels, digital images, and wall text. There are 75 large pedestal sculptures, 30 tea bowls, 20 bottles, 4 floor vases, 4 wall pieces, 2 teapots  and more to select from. The exhibition can be tailored to your needs.

Rental Fee:
Please call for a price.

The Borrower shall assume responsibility for loss or damage to objects for the period of the loan.

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Robert Sperry, Bright Abyss

sperry-571-1983-72x72Robert Sperry, Bright Abyss is a retrospective exhibition of 100 works of art from Sperry’s ceramic career including chargers, platters, wall plaques, sculptures, and murals, spanning from his early work in 1965 and his funk era sculpture, to monumental tile murals and sculptures created in the 90’s. This show presents the innovative evolution of Robert Sperry, (1927-1998). He is known as a master of the “crawl glaze,” which is a decorative ceramic motif not unlike a parched and cracking lakebed. The technical difficulties of handling this particular glaze are monumental and speak to Sperry’s persistence in experimentation. Sperry’s signature bold crackling black and white sculptures represent the dichotomy of a bright abyss.


The exhibition includes condition reports, digital images, graphics and logos, wall text and education materials. The borrower may select from the checklist consisting of:

  • 50 Large platters/wall hangings
  • 20 Decorative/functional pieces
  • 10 Framed tiles
  • 20 Square plates/wall hangings
  • 6 Funk era sculptures
  • 6 Large tile murals
  • 7 Tile sculptures
  • 8 Collages and works on paper

Rental Fee:
Please call for a price quote

The Borrower shall assume responsibility for loss or damage to objects for the period of the loan.

p1020330 sperry-010 sperry-1001a-c.1991-19x23x23-stoneware-tile-with-slips-and-mixed-media sperry-333-1977

Mata Ortiz Pottery: A Forty-Year Phenomenon

The title of this exhibition, Mata Ortiz Pottery: A Forty-Year Phenomenon, refers to what has happened over the last four decades to a small village in Chihuahua, Mexico, called Mata Ortiz. The story is one of community transformation. The economic turning point for Mata Ortiz was facilitated by one man, Juan Quezada, whose curiosity and creativity changed the destiny of an entire village. Juan discovered and reinvented the ceramic tradition of ancient Casas Grandes (1200-1450 AD) pottery. Today over 400 artists in Mata Ortiz make pottery as their main source of income. The nearly miraculous growth of Mata Ortiz’s ceramic cottage industry was made possible by a number of factors: readily available raw materials, the free sharing of technical knowledge, economic need, excellent work ethics, and a quality-rather-than-quantity standard. With these conditions in place, the pottery of Mata Ortiz has been able to move quickly through a number of developmental stages, involving technical and aesthetic advances, mastery of the craft, and specialization by individual artists, reaching the high level of sophistication that is evident in Mata Ortiz pottery today.


Exhibit includes:

  • condition reports, digital images, graphics and logos, wall text and education materials.
  • There are 250 pieces to choose from consisting of hand-built terracotta ollas uniquely decorated. Some are highly burnished and pit fired, some carved and textured, and some effigies with fantastical animal imagery.
  • Artists include: Elvira Bugarini, Laura Bugarini, Martín Cota, Hector Gallegos, Norma Hernández, Elsa Ledezma, Pilo Mora, Eli Navarete, Hector Ortega, Nicolás Ortiz, Gerado Pedragón, Elias Pena, Humberto Ponce, Consolación Quezada, Damián Quezada, Juan Quezada, José Quezada, Lydia Quezada, Leonel Quezada, Mauro Quezada, Nicolás Quezada, Noé Quezada, Olga Quezada, Reynaldo Quezada, Eduardo Quintana, Jorge Quintana, Manuel Rodríguez, Tavo Silveira, Gerardo Tena, Diego Valles, Andrés Villalba, and Sabino Villalba.
  • The borrower agrees to purchase a minimum of 25 DVDs of Mata Ortiz at $15 each. Retail price is: $29.95.

Rental Fee:
Please call for a price quote.

The Borrower shall assume responsibility for loss or damage to objects for the period of the loan.

valles nicholas-ortiz sabino-villalba tavo-silveira

For more information on Traveling Exhibitions, contact Nicole Frazer by email at or by phone (909) 865-3146.