The Museum of American Pottery came into being as a result of an exhibit
called "Old Pots" at Cedar Creek Gallery in the 1970's. This exhibit
of pots was initially scheduled to run for 30 days, but the public response was
so great that the exhibit became a permanent feature. Upon seeing the exhibit,
visitors would remark: "My grandmother had a pot like this. I'm going to
see if she still has it." Pottery students also began to take an interest.
Some became attracted to a particular potter's work and began seeking out not
only other articles about the potter but actual pots that were made by the potter.
One of the factors contributing to the success of the "Old Pots"
exhibit was that the pots were unpretentious pots; they were made for everyday
use. Another factor was the remarkable quality evident in the pots -- such as
those made by Daniel Segal (1805 -- 1867). Segal worked in the Catawba Valley
area of North Carolina and filled his kiln with storage jars, butter churns, whiskey
jugs, "dirt dishes", and grave markers. The last thing on his mind was
creating pieces for a museum. Yet, these humble pieces continue to inspire and
enrich our lives today. It is important that our children and grandchildren have
the opportunity to experience these pots.
Starting a museum on a potter's salary has been difficult but rewarding.
Often we have had to forego buying pieces of work for the museum because we simply
did not have the money to do so. Fortunately with the help of friends who loaned
or donated pieces of work, the museum's collection has grown to nearly 400 pieces.
The following are the objectives of the Museum of American Pottery:
- To honor family and studio potters who, through their work, have made a
significant contribution to the arts.
- To establish a permanent collection, open to the public, of historic and
contemporary pottery by family and studio potters.
- To establish a library of books, magazines, articles, videos, and photos
of pottery and potters from 1700 to the present
- To provide funds for research and opportunities for pottery students to
further their studies.
- To make sure that examples of work by these potters is preserved for future
The Museum is located on the grounds of Cedar Creeek Gallery
and is free to the public. It is open 7 days a week