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Texas Clay: 19th-Century Stoneware Pottery from the Bayou Bend Collection

The Caroline Wiess Law Building, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX | mfah.org

On View

September 5, 2015 - November 1, 2015


Texas Clay: 19th-Century Stoneware Pottery from the Bayou Bend Collection focuses on Texas pottery from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, house museum for early American decorative arts and paintings. The exhibition, on view from September 5 to November 1, 2015, introduces visitors to the vibrant tradition of handmade, utilitarian pottery that flourished in mid- to late-19th century Texas.

The stoneware jugs, jars, butter churns, and pitchers on display were turned on a potters' wheel by professional potters, their family members, and African-American slaves trained in the craft, some of whom went on to open their own operations after emancipation. Bayou Bend's unparalleled Texas pottery collection, the largest of its kind, includes outstanding examples of vessels by master potters from the principal stoneware manufacturing regions of Texas. Highlights of the exhibition include distinctively shaped and glazed vessels by master potter John Leopard, jugs and jars from the Guadalupe Pottery of Guadalupe County owned by the Reverend John M. Wilson, and works by celebrated potter Hiram Wilson, who established one of the first African-American owned and operated enterprises in Texas.

The exhibition and accompanying catalogue reflect Bayou Bend's increasing interest in 19th-century Texas material culture. The resulting research added significant information to the William J. Hill Texas Artisans and Artists Archive, Bayou Bend's free online archive that documents the lives, work and products of artisans and artists working in Texas prior to 1900.

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Generous funding for the exhibition and publication is provided by Leslie and Brad Bucher in memory of Michael K. Brown.



Browse objects from the exhibition | Browse the entire Collection

About the Artisans and Artists in the collection

Allen, James W., ca. 1825-1893.
Brown, Ellick, ca. 1836-after 1920.
Cogburn Pottery, ca. 1848-1857.
Cranfill, Thomas, ca. 1821-1889.
Cranston Pottery, ca. 1854-after 1890.
Duncan, George, ca. 1829-1863.
Duncan, Matthew, ca. 1796-after 1881.
Durham-Chandler-Wilson Pottery, 1869-1903.
Frazier, Milligan, 1848-after 1910.
George Suttles Pottery, ca. 1882-1912.
Guadalupe Pottery, ca. 1857-1869.
H. Wilson & Company, ca. 1869-ca. 1884.
Haden, James W., 1858-1907.
Henderson Pottery Works, ca.1890-1894.
Hogue, Jeremiah S., 1847-1926.
Hunt Pottery First Site, ca. 1889-1900.
Isaac Suttles Pottery, ca. 1873-1882.
Jefferson S. Nash Pottery, ca. 1849-1865.
John Leopard Pottery, ca. 1860-ca. 1883.
Joseph C.D. Rushton Pottery, ca. 1873-1900.
Kirbee Pottery, ca. 1848-1860.
Kirkland, Benjamin Franklin, active ca. 1880-1900.
L. Kimik Pottery, ca. 1875-1900.
Leopard, John Davis, ca. 1800-1883.
Newton, Weller and Wagner Co., 1909-1915.
Prothro Pottery, 1846-1865.
Randolph Manufacturing Company, ca. 1855-1881.
Rhonesboro Pottery, ca. 1920-ca. 1935.
Richter, Ernst, 1858-1932.
Roark Pottery, ca. 1868-1884.
San Antonio Pottery Co., ca. 1928-ca. 1937.
Star Pottery, ca. 1888-1909.
Stoker, Milton Russell, active ca. 1881-1892.
Stone, John L., 1850-1927
Suttles, Isaac, ca. 1840-1884.
T. B. Odom Pottery, ca. 1870.
Taylor Brown Pottery, ca. 1860-1883.
William C. Knox Pottery, ca. 1859-1872.
William Saenger Pottery, ca. 1886-1905.
William Wilson Pottery, active by 1870-ca. 1880.
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