Clay: Traditions in Shards

Figge Art Museum
225 West Second St., Davenport, IA

In the past millennium, the historical debate over the distinction between art and craft in clay has transformed from an accepted assignment based on social hierarchies to a self-conscious art-world struggle. As seen in the the last few generations, artists working in clay have shattered traditional roles by refusing to accept that making functional work sealed your status as a potter or craftsman. By willingly accepting the challenge of making works that exert the same aesthetic agendas of painting and sculpture, two of the most traditional art forms, the line of demarcation between longstanding oppositional categories has never been so uncertain or more irrelevant.

Artists in this exhibition include, but are not limited to: Peter Voulkos, Jun Kaneko, Jason Garcia, Robert Arneson, Bill Stewart, Gerry Eskin, Viola Frey, Benj Upchurch, Ron Meyers, and Kurt Weiser.  For a full checklist of works included in the exhibition, please see here.  A gallery guide to the exhibition is available here .

This exhibition is curated by Dale Fisher, Curator of Education at the UIMA, and is organized by Legacies for Iowa: A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections-Sharing Project, Supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family, and UIMA School Programs. Sponsors of UIMA School Programs include US Bank, Scheels, and UIMA Education Partners. 

Dale Fisher will present a Curator’s Talk at the Figge Art Museum on March 3, 2016 at 7 PM. 

clay logos


Duck Tank

Bill Stewart American (1941– )

Duck Tank

, 1976
Ceramic, 20 1/2 x 11 x 29 1/4 in.
Gift of The Friends of the Museum, 1978.34