Selected Images from Permanent Collections
Roger D. Corsaw Collection
Raised in Alfred, New York, Roger Corsaw graduated in 1935 with a degree in Ceramic Art from Alfred. In 1947 he received an MFA from the Institute of Design in Chicago. He taught ceramics at the University of Oklahoma from 1954-1976.
In 1985 he set up an endowed fund at Alfred. This fund was specified for: “promoting continuation of creative traditional forms of pottery,” with traditional defined as “the ideas germinated from functional form that incorporate contemporary trends and make use of new technical developments.” This collection includes work by Marion Fosdick, Cindy Sherman, Silvie Granatelli, Ellen Shankin, Eva Zeisel, Malcolm Davis, Harrison McIntosh, David MacDonald, Karen Koblitz, and Ken Ferguson.
In addition to funding museum purchases, Corsaw himself purchased functional pieces for the collection, donated others and gave examples of his own varied work. These gifts and purchases total more than 250 objects. At his death, he bequeathed additional funds to the museum. Corsaw’s funding has also been helpful in caring for the collection.
Colonel John R. Fox Collection
Koryo and the Yi. These works are dated from the second to eighteenth century. Fox’s collections were so vast that he donated pieces to Cornell’s Herbert Johnson Museum and other institutions in New York State as well as the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum.
Krevolin Collection of Early Contact
Lewis Krevolin graduated from Alfred with a BFA in 1955 and spent his career as an educator. His wife, Jenny Krevolin graduated from Alfred in 1956. The Krevolin Family made three large gifts of pottery to Alfred in 1986, 1987, and 1991. The collection totals close to 500 clay objects made as early as 2200 BCE. It includes works from the Americas. The 1991 gift includes pottery from the African continent. The Krevolin collection represents an excellent variety of techniques with many of the objects displaying smoke marks left by the firing. Others are finely burnished. Some are incised with patterns. Many are decorated with clay slips. Pieces often include animal imagery.
This unique collection contains ceramic pieces from Alfred’s own graduate ceramic students. Beginning in the 1940’s concurrent with the early years of the graduate program, this collection now totals approximately 700 pieces. Artwork created by graduating Master of Fine Arts students in the Ceramic Art Division of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University is accepted into the museum collection from each student’s thesis exhibition. This collection offers a significant insight into the evolution of 20th and 21st century American ceramic art. Today, anyone interested in studying the evolutionary arc of modern and contemporary ceramic art history will by necessity seek out an understanding of the inspiration, concepts and methodologies behind this MFA work.
David and Ann Shaner Collection
David Shaner graduated with an MFA degree from Alfred in 1954. In addition to being a consummate potter, Shaner was a collector and Director of the Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, Montana (1964-1970). The Shaner family has given the museum 163 exceptional pieces of ceramic art. Donations began in 1997 and continue up to the present. Since David’s death in 2002, Ann Shaner has continued to facilitate donations to the collection.
The collection is varied and includes fine examples of southwest pueblo pots, mid twentieth century pieces mostly from the United States with some international works. This group includes work by Hans Coper, Shoji Hamada, Lucy Lewis, Maria and Julian Martinez, Henry Varnum Poor, Glen Lukens, Robert Turner, Don Reitz, Ken Ferguson, Wayne Higby, Daniel Rhodes, Val Cushing, Karen Karnes, Robert Sperry, Rudy Autio and Peter Voulkos.
The Turner Collection
Robert Turner and his wife Sue collected this group of 63 pieces of ceramic art in the 1960s and 1970s. Robert Chapman Turner graduated from Swarthmore with his BA degree in 1936 and received his MFA from Alfred in 1949. Turner established the studio pottery program at Black Mountain College before returning to Alfred University to teach. The work in this collection represent gifts, purchases or trades to Robert while he was teaching at Alfred. Artists included are Bill Brouillard, Andrea and John Gill, Chris Gustin, Don Reitz, Ed Eberle, Patti Warashina, Marguerite Wildenhain, Herb Cohen, Karen Karnes, Paulus Berensohn and George E. Ohr. This collection also includes an important Nigerian storage vessel.
Visiting Artist Collection
This collection began in 1946 when the museum acquired the earthenware female head by visiting artist William Ellisworth Artis. Over the years as artists came to Alfred University’s School of Art and Design for a few days or a semester, the collection has grown to 45 pieces including among others work by Philippe Barde (France), Lu Bin (China), Satoru Hoshino (Japan), David MacDonald (United States), Elsa Sahal (France), and Anton Rejinders (Netherlands). The museum’s most recent addition to this collection is a piece by Korean artist Kang Hyo Lee.
George Wesp Collection
The George Wesp Collection consists of mainly European dinnerware from the first half of the twentieth century. Included are examples manufactured by Rosenthal, Tettau, Paragon and the short-lived Latvian company as well as the Continental Ceramics Corporation. The collection has representative pieces from Germany, England, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France and the United States.
George Wesp (1900-1958) began collecting in 1920, soon after he came to New York from Germany to represent P. Rosenthal Ceramics in the importing firm of Continental Ceramics Corporation. Alma B. Wesp, wife of the late porcelain designer and importer of fine dinnerware, donated the collection totaling close to 400 pieces in 1964.