George Ohr Rising - the Emergence of an American Master

October 15 - December 5, 2008

Museum Reception: Thursday, October 23, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

A traveling exhibition of ceramics by potter George E. Ohr will be shown at the Museum, October 15 through December 5, 2008. It is on loan from the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum Museum of Art, Biloxi, Mississippi. Ohr is known for his thin walled, multi-handled, elaborately manipulated pottery as well as his flamboyant persona.

In 1894, George E. Ohr (1857-1918) was forced to rebuild his life after Mississippi Pot-Ohr-E (pottery) studio burned. Facing the destruction of much of his hometown Biloxi, life’s work, and family income, Ohr went on to produce the most innovative ceramic work of his career. The exhibition George Ohr-Rising, The Emergence of an American Master recounts this transformation between the fire of 1894 and the end of his potting career in 1905. Examples include teapots, cadogans and two-handled vases that highlight the artist’s interest in organic lines and shapes and brilliant colored glazes. Ohr lived through a period of great change in American life and it is obvious that his art is a reflection of the prevailing spirit of modernism that led the way into the 20th century.

Until August 29, 2005, the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art was located in a building that also housed the city’s public library. A six building complex, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, under construction when Hurricane Katrina hit, would have seen its grand opening July 12, 2006 and been the focus of national and international attention for the museum and its programming. Due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, the museum is in an interim location with limited gallery space. The construction of the new campus will continue. In an effort to share this unparallel collection of George E. Ohr ceramics the museum has mounted this traveling exhibition that was curated by Anna Harris of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum.