The Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University
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Premeditated Function: The Corsaw Collection of American Ceramics
September 24, 1998 - February 4, 1999


Val Cushing, American, b. 1931, soup tureen with 8 bowls The Corsaw Collection of Functional American Ceramics was established in 1986, before there was a Museum in Alfred. Roger Corsaw (AU '35) believed that such a collection at his alma mater would serve as an inspiration for the students and faculty at Alfred. It could be further stated the collection has served as a catalyst for the formal establishment of the International Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred.
Val Cushing, American, b. 1931, soup tureen with 8 bowls, stoneware, glazed. H:11" D"13-3/4" Museum Purchase, 1997.116.
Roger Corsaw, American, b. 1913, lidded jar
Roger Corsaw, American, b. 1913, lidded jar, ca. 1971. H:15" D:9" Gift of the Artist, 1990.4.
While the Collection is all about function, the guidelines establishing the Collection noted desirable pieces acquired for the Collection would "emphasize creative solutions in form, surface enrichment, unique glaze quality, and a mastery of craftsmanship rather than strict function." Roger felt the need to establish a collection of functional American ceramics because he believed "that the direction ceramics was taking by many potters, was getting away from the functional approach and gaining momentum."

The Corsaw Collection is comprised of more than 250 pieces, a portion donated by Roger Corsaw or the maker, or donated by others, and a portion purchased by formal Committee specifically for this Collection. A partial listing of the Corsaw Collection includes representative pieces by ceramic artists such as Charles Fergus Binns, Charles Harder, David Shaner, Robert Turner, Dan Rhodes, Val Cushing, Paul Soldner, Ellen Shankin, Ken Ferguson, Harrison McIntosh, Mark Burns, Howard Kottler, Bruce Winn, Karen Karnes, Vivika and Otto Heino, and Hallcraft dinnerware designed by Eva Zeisel, to name just a few. More than 75 pieces have been selected from the Collection to be on display in the Museum during this special exhibition.

Bruce Winn, American, 20th century, cup and saucer Bruce Winn, American, 20th century, cup and saucer, 1992. H: 3-1/4" D:5-1/2" Museum Purchase, 1992.148.
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