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Edwin Scheier, Mary Scheier

Biography to Display: 

1910Born New York, New York

1937Married to Mary Goldsmith

2008 Died Green Valley, Arizona

PRIMARY WORK EXPERIENCE

1937Instructor, Crafts and Puppetry, New York State Civilian Conservation Corps

1937Field Supervisor, Works Progress Administration, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina

1937Hillcrock Pottery, Glade Spring, Virginia

1938Federal Art Project, Norris, Tennessee

1940-1968Professor, Ceramics, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

1940—the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, Concord, New Hampshire

1968-1978Studio Potter, Oaxaca, Mexico

1978-2008Studio Potter, Green Valley, Arizona

 

Mary and Edwin Scheier are known for finely thrown functional vessels with sgraffito or applique surface decoration. Mary became an expert on the potter’s wheel, throwing thin earthenware pots and, Edwin decorated the works using motifs that reflected his interest in spirituality and anthropology.

The Scheiers were both largely self-taught studio potters who worked together throughout their 69 year marriage. Mary and Edwin made individual works, however, these are often indistinguishable and difficult to attribute.

The Scheier’s early work is characterized by domestic wares with simple geometric motifs and soft glaze colors inspired by Appalachian Folk Pottery. At their first pottery in Virginia, Hillcrock Pottery, they primarily made small figures and functional wares.

In 1940, the couple moved to New Hampshire to teach at both the University of New Hampshire and the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. It was during this period in New Hampshire that the Scheiers created their most prolific and mature works.

During World War II, Edwin served as a merchant seaman. When he returned from the war, he began to use new imagery inspired by the tattoos he had seen abroad. These motifs recurred throughout his career along with imagery depicting fertility, regeneration, primitivism and creation. While Edwin was absent, Mary continued the pottery in New Hampshire. During this time she made a series of coffee pots and matching cups decorated with a restrained use of glaze, allowing the grainy texture of the clay body to show.

After the War the University of New Hampshire, like many other universities across the country, responded to the influx of students using the G.I. Bill for their tuition, by expanding their ceramics program. Edwin was invited to teach and Mary became the school’s artist-in-residence.

In 1968 the Scheiers retired and spent nearly a decade in Oaxaca, Mexico. They studied weaving and Zapotec pottery. Imagery from this experience began to appear on their works from this period and later. They lived and worked in Green Valley, Arizona for the remainder of their lives.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

American Museum of Ceramic Art, AMOCA, Pomona, CaliforniaThe Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Arizona State University, Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York

Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland

Cincinnati Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Cranbrook Academy Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire

Detroit Museum of Art, Detroit, Michigan

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island

Scripps College, Claremont, California

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, New York

Southern Highland Craft Guild, Asheville, North Carolina

Museum of Art, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut

Bibliography

Bibliography to Display: 

Clark, Garth. American Ceramics: 1876 to the Present. New York, NY: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1987.

Dietz, Ulysses Grant. Great Pots Contemporary Ceramics from Function to Fantasy. Madison, WI: Guild Publishing with the Newark Museum, 2003.

Falino, Jeannine. Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design. New York, NY: Abrams, 2011.

Komanecky, Michael K. American Potters: Mary and Edwin Scheier. Manchester, NH: The Currier Gallery of Art, 1994.

Levin, Elaine. The History of American Ceramics from Pipkins and Bean Pots to Contemporary Forms. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers: New York, New York, 1988.

Perry, Barbara, ed. American Ceramics: The Collection of Everson Museum. New York, NY: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1989.

 

 

Typical Marks
ca 1941
ca 1960-1962
1991
1992
1993
Coffee Set
Date: ca 1941
Form: Coffee Set
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Everson Museum of Art Collection, Purchase Prize given by Richard B. Gump, 12th Ceramic National, 1948
Photo: John Polak
Everson Museum of Art Collection, Purchase Prize given by Richard B. Gump, 12th Ceramic National, 1948
Photo: John Polak
Photo: John Polak
Early Charger
Date: 1947
Form: Charger
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Carved, Glaze, Sgraffito
Courtesy Rago Arts and Auction
Photo: TMP
Courtesy Rago Arts and Auction
Photo: TMP
Bowl
Date: ca 1960-1962
Form: Bowl
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
American Museum of Ceramic Art, AMOCA, 2004.2.100, gift of American Ceramic Society
Photo: TMP
American Museum of Ceramic Art, AMOCA, 2004.2.100, gift of American Ceramic Society
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Footed Vase
Date: 1965
Form: Vase
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze, Incised
Elaine Levin Archive, University of Southern California
Elaine Levin Archive, University of Southern California
Charger with Adam and Eve and Serpent
Date: 1991
Form: Charger
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze, Sgraffito
Courtesy Rago Arts and Auction
Photo: TMP
Courtesy Rago Arts and Auction
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Large Vessel with Figures
Date: 1992
Form: Vessel
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Carved, Volcanic Glaze
Courtesy Rago Arts and Auctions
Photo: TMP
Courtesy Rago Arts and Auctions
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Footed Bowl wth Figures
Date: 1993
Form: Bowl
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Carved, Glaze, Sgraffito
Courtesy Rago Arts and Auction
Photo: TMP
Courtesy Rago Arts and Auction
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Bowl with Whaler
George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, Massachusetts, George Walter Vincent Smith Collection, gift of Norman Hanson and James E. Meyer in memory of Frank Maas
Photo: John Polak
George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, Massachusetts, George Walter Vincent Smith Collection, gift of Norman Hanson and James E. Meyer in memory of Frank Maas
Photo: John Polak
Photo: John Polak

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified August 30, 2018. http://www.themarksproject.org:443/marks/scheier-0