The Students of Binns

March 18 - September 18, 1998

Binns and StudentsThe Students of Binns exhibition will feature more than 80 ceramic pieces created by individuals who studied with Charles Fergus Binns in Alfred between 1900 and 1931. Binns is commonly referred to as "The Father of American Studio Ceramics" and many of his students referred to him as "Daddy" Binns. This title reflects not only his creation of unique, virtuous stoneware pots in the Arts & Crafts style, but also acknowledges his accomplishments of bringing vital information about ceramic clay bodies and glaze recipes to students and lay persons, thereby laying the foundation for the flourishing studio ceramics movement in the United States beginning in the early 1900s. Dr. Binns was well-known for his enthusiasm for teaching others about the balance between ceramic art and science, especially during evening and summer school sessions.
It seems almost a misnomer to refer to the "students of Binns," as each student had such impressive accomplishments of his/her own that they hardly stand in the shadow of one of their teachers. However, it is interesting to note just how many remarkable individuals formed the foundation of their ceramic knowledge at Alfred in the early 1900s, studying with Dr. Binns.

Some of the many accomplished students of Binns who will be featured in this exhibit include Adelaide Alsop Robineau, Paul E. Cox, Frederick Walrath, Arthur E. Baggs, R. Guy Cowan , Elizabeth Overbeck, Mary Chase Perry Stratton, Ruth Canfield, Charles M. Harder, Marion Fosdick, Myrtle Merrit French, Chauncey Thomas, Paul Vickers Gardner, Maija Grotell and others.

This exhibition is curated by Dr. Margaret Carney, founding director of the International Museum of Ceramic Art, as a companion exhibition to the major retrospective exhibition, The Stonewares of Charles Fergus Binns: Father of American Studio Ceramics. One chapter of Dr. Carney's book Charles Fergus Binns: The Father of American Studio Ceramics is devoted to the students of Binns, with essays by Dr. Carney, Richard Zakin, Cleota Reed, Martin Eidelberg, and others.