In 1900, Charles Fergus Binns was appointed as the founding director of the New York State College of Clay Working and Ceramics at Alfred University, thus the study of ceramic art and science was established as an educational focus at the University and has remained so for over a century. Binns’ teaching formed the foundation for the evolution of American ceramic art.
Alfred University’s well-known, multi-media art school is unique in its expansive growth from the Binns ceramic art legacy. Alfred Ceramic Art Museum acknowledges this fact by celebrating all the visual arts within various aspects of its exhibition cycle, while concentrating its collection policy on ceramic art.
The outstanding collection of graduate thesis work created by Alfred educated ceramic artists is unique in the world. It forms the core of the collection and provides an especially significant view into the progressive development of American, contemporary ceramic art. In addition, the permanent collection has grown to include works by international ceramic artists such as Rosanjin, Hamada, Leach, Cardew and Rie as well as Chinese funerary jars, tomb sculpture from the Neolithic period, Roman and Byzantine lamps, Nigerian market pottery and the Krevolin Collection of Pottery of the Ancient Americas. The museum collection also features the work of numerous American ceramic art masters including the Alfred art school’s renowned ceramic art faculty as well as - Ruth Duckworth, Ken Ferguson, Karen Karnes, Howard Kottler, Harrison MacIntosh, David Shaner, Robert Turner, Ken Price, Peter Voulkos, Beatrice Wood, Betty Woodman and Eva Zeisel to name just a few.