Ezra Shales, Ph.D.: "Pioneers of American Ceramics"

Fourteenth Dorothy Wilson Perkins Lecture Alfred Ceramic Art Museum

September 10, 2015 4:30 p.m., Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center Alfred University Campus

Ezra Shales, Ph.D. is a Professor in the History of Art Department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. His Ph.D. is from the Bard Graduate Center and M.F.A. from Hunter College.

Ezra Shales
Ezra Shales

He has authored essays on diverse topics, from Victorian toys and the role of artisans in building the Empire State Building and writes about contemporary practices, too. His book, Made in Newark (Rutgers University Press, 2010), explores craft as an anchor of regional identity in Progressive-era New Jersey.

Shales is currently working on a book exploring the ways drinking vessels in North America are culturally-loaded talismans that brim with political and social power and completing a manuscript titled "Common Craft" that will be published by Reaktion Books.

He was the originating curator of Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today for the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City, which drew on the scholarship of O Pioneers! Women Ceramic Artists, 1925-1960, an exhibition at the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum. He developed this body of research over the eight years he taught art history at Alfred’s School of Art and Design while teaching classes devoted to ceramic history, discussing art with students, alumni, and colleagues, and conducting research in the Scholes Library archives.