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Ed and Mary Scheier, New Hampshire Mid-Century Modern Potters

2013 Lecture Schedule

April 30

Four Hands, One Heart A Documentary Mel Bobick, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of New Hampshire The Documentary: a Ken Browne Production and a Currier Gallery of Art Film
A chance meeting in 1937 through the federal Works Progress Administration led Mary Goldsmith and Edwin Scheier to begin a seven-decade long partnership that would place them in the forefront of the American Studio Pottery Movement. Married within the year, the couple began studying Southern pottery traditions, opening their own studio in Glade Spring, Virginia. Almost immediately their pottery won acclaim. In 1940 David R. Campbell, director of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, was instrumental in recruiting the Scheiers to join the faculty of the University of New Hampshire at Durham, Ed as a ceramics teacher and Mary as an artist-in-residence. Working there until 1968, the Scheiers produced what are recognized as some of the finest pieces of American ceramics of the 20th century. The lightness and elegance of Marys thrown forms combined with Eds glazes and fluid lines of decoration have earned their pottery a place in major museum collections across the country. Mel Bobick knew the Scheiers personally and lives in what was once their home, a house designed by David Campbell. He will share stories and insights into their work, provide commentary on the documentary film Four Hands, One Heart exploring the Scheiers career (run time apprx. 35 minutes), and present examples of the Scheiers pottery. Mr. Bobick, a professor at the University of New Hampshire for over 47 years, taught the hugely popular Arts in Society course, which focused on the meaning and value of art to society. He has been an active supporter of the arts his entire life.

Archaeology in Downtown Portsmouth:

June 11

Discovering the Colonel Joshua Wentworth Privy Dr. Kathleen Wheeler, Owner, Independent Archaeological Consulting LLC
In 2010, Independent Archaeological Consulting (IAC) conducted fieldwork and analysis for Phase II of the Portwalk project, a mixed-use development being built downtown on Hanover St. Using a combination of mechanical and hand excavation, IAC discovered four privies including one associated with the property of Col. Joshua Wentworth, a prominent eighteenth century merchant and patriot. In the process of excavating the privy, archaeologists recovered a dozen glass bottles, among them a green wine bottle with a glass blob seal marked JOSa WENTWORTH 1773. This presentation will review the archaeological findings and will speculate on whose hands touched this bottle. Note that the Joshua Wentworth house, built circa 1770, was saved from destruction in 1973 when it was moved from Hanover St., floated down the Piscataqua River and placed in its present location on Hancock St. Kathleen Wheeler has over twenty-five years of experience working in New England, specializing in PostContact period archaeology. She exceeds the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Archaeologists and has completed all levels of archaeological investigation in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. Ms. Wheeler holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of New Hampshire and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.

High Fashion, Local Flavor: 19th Century Womens Social Positioning Through Dress in Seacoast, New Hampshire Astrida Schaeffer, Principal, Schaeffer Arts

September 24

Clothes have been an emblem for real and aspired-to social status for as long as people have worn them, but among those with few means the ability to use fashion to shape perception was fairly limited until the Industrial Revolution. A number of factors came together in the late 19th century that put the power of selfpresentation squarely in the hands of women as never before. Access to new technologies, current information and the dissemination of new skills gave women all they needed to turn dress into social statement. The 1870s homemade dress of Celestia Freeman, a mill overseers wife from Somersworth, NH is the centerpiece of this exploration of how a woman could make the clothes that could make the woman. Freemans dress was recently featured in an exhibition drawing on the Irma Bowen Textile Collection at the University of New Hampshire. Astrida Schaeffer has been working with historic fashions and textiles for over 25 years as a curator, mannequin maker, reproduction seamstress, researcher and author. Her most recent publication, Embellishments: Constructing Victorian Detail, based on the UNH Museum Collection will be available.

Silver in Newburyport: Harold E. Nock and The Towle Silversmiths

David C. Walters, Silver Enthusiast & Researcher

October 22

The Newburyport area has maintained a long tradition of silverwork dating back to William Moulton in the 17th century. When the Industrial Revolution put an end to the individual silversmith and his shop, Moultons descendants founded a company in 1882 that took advantage of new production processes. It came to be known as the Towle Silversmiths and for the next 100 years, the firm played an integral role in the American silver industry, as well as the Newburyport community. In 1916 Harold E. Nock (1874-1952), an experienced silversmith, accepted a position with Towle. He quickly emerged as its most gifted designer and would play a pivotal role in the companys successes, where he developed over 25 flatware patterns and was granted close to 50 patents covering nearly every aspect of the industry. Yet for all of Nocks accomplishments, he remains relatively unknown today. This lecture will provide an introduction to the history of Towle, highlighting the contributions of the companys most accomplished employee. David C. Walters has spent much of his free time over the last two years researching Towles place among 20th century silver manufacturers; he is currently at work on an article on Harold E. Nock. David holds a Masters degree in Security Policy Studies from the George Washington University and works for NASA.

Venture Cargoes: The Marketing of New England Furniture

November 12

Along the Atlantic Coast in the Eighteenth Century Brock Jobe, Professor of American Decorative Arts, Winterthur Museum
Colonial consumers living along the Eastern seaboard had access to furniture from many locations. Certainly much of it was locally made or came from craftsmen within the region, but exports from Britain, Philadelphia, New York and New England are well documented. This presentation will explore one aspect of the colonial craftsmens vibrant export trade: the marketing and shipment of New England-made goods throughout the 1700s. We often lose sight of how extensive a trade this was: furniture from Portsmouth, Salem, Boston, Newport and Providence made its way to customers located from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean and all ports of call in between. Please join us for a fresh look at the resourcefulness of New England furniture makers in search of markets and money. Brock Jobe has taught in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture for over ten years, a position he assumed after a twenty-eight year career as a museum curator and administrator. He is the coauthor of New England Furniture: The Colonial Era, organizer and editor of Portsmouth Furniture: Masterworks from the New Hampshire Seacoast and co-author of Harbor & Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710-1850. Brock is currently engaged in a collaborative project, Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture, which will result in six exhibitions in the Bay State and an online database of Boston furniture.