As early as 1903, Charles Fergus Binns began planning an Alfred University pottery collection and he did put together a “museum” or study collection in a space in the original ceramics building. Nearly ninety years later, in 1991, the University Board of Trustees formally established the Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred with art historian Margaret Carney as director (1/1991- 5/2002). Later in the 1990’s its name was changed to the International Museum of Ceramic Art and in 1999 with the generous support of University trustee Pam Joseph and her late husband Jay Schein the museum became known as: The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. From May 2002 until May 2014 when a new director was appointed the Curator of Collections, Susan Kowalczyk, managed all aspects of the museum project.
In the late spring of 2014 construction began on a building, designed by Kallmann, McKinnell and Wood of Boston, to house the ceramic art museum and, as a result, a completely new era for ceramic art at Alfred was initiated. Renamed Alfred Ceramic Art Museum by the Board of Trustees in February 2015 this new state of the art facility is the gift of visionary patron of the arts Marlin Miller (Dr. Marlin Miller, Jr. Alfred University alumnus ’54, HD ’89). Alfred Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University is now established as a new initiative under the directorial leadership of ceramic artist and educator Wayne Higby. The museum features an expanded educational mission as well as a commitment to enrich the artistic and scholarly dimensions of ceramic art while celebrating the visual arts in their entirety.