About the Ceramics Research Center
In 1967, the ASU Art Museum recognized the growth of the field of ceramics and undertook the building of a contemporary studio ceramics collection – one of the few and first art museums in the country to do so. Today, the Ceramics Research Center is a national and international destination for hands-on study and enjoyment of ceramics and crafts. Our collection has grown to include additional works in contemporary craft, including objects made of wood and textiles.
The CRC provides access to the collection of more than 3,800 objects and includes a gallery space, an archive, a library, a classroom, and objects in open storage. Annually, the Center features three to four exhibitions drawn primarily from the permanent collection of important and diverse movements and artists who made significant contributions to the field. Exhibitions demonstrate the full range of techniques, aesthetic approaches, and possibilities within the medium.
About the Ceramics Research Archive
Susan Harnly Peterson Ceramic Research Archives
Archives often support museum collections and exhibitions so that students, collectors, museum curators, and scholars may study historical records associated with artworks we collect and show. This archive houses the expansive personal collection of books, photographs, notes, and pottery of renowned artist, writer, and educator Susan Harnly Peterson. Since her original donation in 2002 and the subsequent naming of the archive in her honor, the Ceramics Research Center archive now includes materials from other artists and scholars, forming over 3,000 exhibition catalogs, books, periodicals, and media.
- The Studio Potter archive, which consists of original source materials for each issue of the magazine and over 700 audio interviews with ceramic artists;
- Interviews, panel discussions, and workshop recordings from National Council for the Ceramics Arts conferences;
- Herbert Sanders’s notebooks explaining formulas for his famous crystalline glazes, teaching notes, and research notes;
- Local artist Don Reitz’s archive, complete with slides, notes, and other ephemera.
The Studio Potter Ceramic Archives
The Ceramics Research Center also holds the significant ceramic archives from The Studio Potter magazine, which document 30 years of creative activity in the field. Founded in 1972, the Studio Potter magazine, under Gerry Williams’ editorial vision, was at the forefront of offering insightful writings on technology, criticism, aesthetics and history within the ceramics community. An intrepid traveler, Williams, along with his wife Julie, amassed a trove of oral histories, transcribed interviews, photographs and journals. Many artists in the archive are represented in ASU Art Museum’s collection. Gerry Williams (1926-2014) was a celebrated ceramist, American Craft Council Fellow, founder of Studio Potter magazine and beloved ambassador or all things clay.
Our library collection houses over 3,000 titles of rare exhibition catalogues, books, periodicals and media. The collection includes personal library collections of Susan Peterson, Ralph Bacerra, Harry Dennis and James & Nan McKinnell.
Access to the Archives
The next phase is the digitization of the archival materials so they can be accessible online, providing global access to technical, critical and historical information.
Students, collectors, museum curators and scholars can schedule appointments to examine specific works in the collection and related archival material.
If you are seeking to visit the Susan Harnley Peterson Archives in person for research, please email Mary-Beth Buesgen, Curator of Collections & Archives at email@example.com
Ceramics Research Center Open Storage
Eight hundred ceramic objects reside in open storage representing the mid- 20th century to the current day. ASU Art Museum displays clay sculpture and pottery, from familiar functional pots to abstract forms, from earthenware and porcelain with glazes to unglazed pit-fired vessels. Prominent artists represented in the collection include Rudy Autio, Lucie Rie, Akio Takamori, and Peter Voulkos, to name a few.