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In the

eorly yeors of Eulota Amos's tenure os o professor in the

University of Georgio s department of ott, her colLeogues included, omong others, Lomar Dodd, Ferdinond Warren, Howord Thomas, ond Horold Westcott. Women were d decided minoity in those days, ond Amos could not hove been but impressed by the occompLishments of this group ond others who come

to the depoftment,

os she did,

Lamor Dodd. Yet Amos wos hordly

ot the behest of its choirmon,

in the shadow of these men. While o grad-

uate student ot )hio Stote University, she had oLreody deveLoped on innovative process for attaching o siLver gLoze to ceronics. Quietly, but with o great deaL

of ossurance, she pefected the technique lnd built up o considerobLe

body of work, oLl the whiLe teoching ond seruing os a model for her students. Yet, becouse she chose to devote herself

to teoching rather thon

to pubLicizing her own work, her career has been negLected in ort-histoicol

literature. This exhibition ond brochure lre 0n ottempt to set the record stroight, or dt tedst to give our oudiences some idea of the totent ond the oiginoLity of this remarkobLe woman.

Ija

Thurlow, the curotor

Museum Studies Progrom

ot the

for this exhibition, is o student in the

Georgia ltluseum of Art; in this way,

Professor Amos has continued to teach in spite of hoving been retired from

the University of

Georgio

for

mony years. Ms. ThurLow hos been

in

chorge

of

ail aspects of this exhibition ond, much to her delight, this responsibility hos included working directly with the aftist in prepoing the checkList

for the of

exhibition. She hos olso hod the good fortune to hove the assistonce

Professor Betty Sheerer, now retired from the Home Economics Depaftment

the University of Georgia. exhibition: Mr.

We ore also

of

groteful to the pivote lenders to the

C. L. l4oreheod Jr. and Michael ond

l|ary Erlanger. They have

entrusted us with pized possessiont because Amos's works hove not been dispersed wideLy in

pivote

coLlections. We oppreciote the JinancioL support

of

Jack ond Jefie Rowlond, who once ogain prove their devotion to the ort ond ortists of Athens ond we ocknowLedge the generous contibution of the Richard A. Florsheim herseLf

ort and for the

@

Aft Fund. Finalty,

we ore most groteful to Eulolo Amos

for continuing to inspire us with the depth of her commitment to her LoveLiness

Wittiam U. Eiland Director Georgia Museum o/Art

of the works thot she has produced.


Eul.ata Amos, 1996

THESE ARE THE THOUGHTS OF

A

POTTER

whose work has been an integraL part of her

and immediately decided to become a potter.

in the

Amos, not knowing then about the grants

dentist's office to buy some ama[gam with sit-

Life since she discovered the medium almost

avai[abte to artists, soLd a[[ her possessions-

fifty years ago.

including her

pottery in her

Amos

sti[[

uses most

of

her

with its beautiful

car-in

order to purchase the

ver in

same manner. Amos rushed out of the

it.

She dritted holes

in a pot to fiLl with

the si[ver, creating the inLay effect she had

materials she would need. During Amos's

been trying to achieve. Arthur Baggs said that

garden in Winterville, Georgia. The bowls hold

senior year of undergraduate work, Lamar

it

food, the vases hold flowers, and the [anterns

Dodd, a professor of art at the University of

coursework, wrote the thesis, and earned her master/s degree from 0hio State.

Large house

was worth a master's thesis, so she did the

tight up the porch. During her twenty-five

Georgia, wrote to one of her teachers asking

years as a potter and ceramics teacher, Amos

for a ceramics instructor, and Amos was rec-

created hundreds of works, and she secured

ommended. Dodd was interested in havinq her

many of Amos's works. For examp[e, the

her ptace in the history of twentieth-century

teach at the University of Georgia, but she

white bowl with two siLver feathers in the

ceramics by discovering a unique siLver gtaz-

wanted to stay at 0hio State. She received

ing technique.

her undergraduate degree

The art

of pottery runs in

Amos's

in 1945 and

began

teaching while working on her maste/s

The silver inLay can be seen on smaLL

bottom (Checklist No. 30) shows how a detaiL can compLeteLy change the character of

a

work. The two feathers, the most striking fea-

famity. Her Pennsylvania Dutch ancestor, John

degree

Leidy, made pottery untiI the onset of the

1945 Amos taught ceramics at the University

immediatety to the inside. The bowl would

Revolutionary War forced him to stop. He

of Georgia and so impressed Dodd that he

sti[[ be a wetl-formed work of pottery without

refused to fight because of his reLigious

sent her letters every Christmas asking when

the siLver because of its smooth white gtaze

beliefs, but he heLped the coLonists as

she woutd return

a

German transtator. 0ne

of his pots is currently

in the collection of the

PhiLadetphia Museum

of Art.

in ceramics. During the summer of

to

Georgia as a permanent

facutty member. She received her M. S. in ceramics

in 1947 and continued teaching at

in Fredericktown, 0hio,

Three teachers at 0hio State

on

and perfect round form, but

it

woutd lack the

character that the feathers give

it. 0n

her

[arge btue ptate with the fish design (Checktist No. 29), Amos uses sitver inLay to

Ohio State. Born

tures of the bow[, draw the viewer's gaze

create an elaborate composition. The fish is

May 29, 1.907, Eu[a[a Amos attended AshLand

inspired her work: Pau[ Bogatay, Arthur

outlined with siLver, and the surrounding

College and began a teaching career immedi-

Baggs, and Edgar Littlefietd. Litttefield was

water patterns are highLighted with sitver

ately thereafter. She taught at

the first person to encourage her interest in

detaiLs. The blue alkatine glaze gives the fish

pottery. Bogatay to[d Amos, a senior at the

a watery setting.

CoLumbia

in Mount Vernon, 0hio, from 1927 to 1938 and served as its principaL from 1938 to

time, about a piece of pottery from Denmark

1943. She also taught art at Mount Vernon

that had

School

siLver inlay

in ceramic g[aze. She

In 1949 Amos surprised

Dodd by

accepting his invitation to teach at the

High Schoot from 1943 until7944. MeanwhiLe,

tried to reproduce the effect by welding siLver

University of Georgia. She began as an assis-

she attended Ohio State University and

to the pottery, but it did not adhere properly.

tant professor,

worked on a B. S. in education.

Soon after, a visit to the dentist for a fiLling

in 1956, and a fu[[ professor in 1966, teach-

provided the solution she needed: she rea[-

ing ceramics, crafts, and art education untiI

A chance visit to the art depart-

if the dentist

ment at 0hio State completety changed her

ized that,

direction in tife. She saw the ceramics studio

with silver, she could filt pottery with silver

cou[d fiL[ her tooth

became an associate professor

her retirement as professor emeritus of art in

1970. During her career her work was inctuded


below: Checkli\t Nunbet 21

in

Amos also thin.ks that potters

severaI important exhibitions, including

the Art League Shows in Columbus, 0hio, and

shouLd not try

the Butler Art

such related media as glasswork and oiL

Show

She showed work

in Youngstown,

in the Fiber, Cloy, and Metol

exhibition series in St. she participated

Ohio.

in the

to achieve the tefinement that

painting achieve because pottery does not

it. "Pottery shoutd

PauL, Minnesota. Later

ca[[ for

DecoroLive

says, "thafs where

it

be earthy," Amos

comes from."

Arts-Ceromics exhibitions in Wichita, Kansas.

Perfection does not necessariLy mean a com-

By this time she was weLlknown and partic-

pLeteLy smooth piece

ipated in invitationa[s at Corne[[ University

classic form. A rough work with a good form

and the Smithsonian. She atso exhibited in

and a compLementary gLaze can be just as

the Ceromic Nationot Exhibition in Syracuse,

pleasing as the most delicatety painted

GaLLery

in St.

PauL as weLL. As her

the touch, such as her lantern (Checklist

career diew to a close, she received the

31) or her

"Woman of the Year in Art" award for

remind the viewer that they are made of

Athens/Ctarke Qoi:nty, Georgia,

a

porcelain. Many of Amos's works are rough to

NewYork. Amos won the Purchase Prize of

the St. Pau[

or an exact replica of

in 1963.

taLL vase (Checklist No.

No.

24). They

ctay, and thus reca[[ the naturaI world from which they came and to which they

ThroLighout her career Amos experimented with several different clays and glazes. The three main categories of pottery

wiLL

eventua[[y return.

prehistoric cave paintings.

The Lantern's form emulates the

it

are earthenware, fired at [ow temperatures;

structure of Chinese and Japanese temp[es:

stoneware, fired at high temperatures; and

is vertica[[y rectangular and its base and top

Amos wishes

that more people

were going into ceramics, but "then there

just be

more starving

artistsl"

porcelain, a speciaL white clav fired at high

extend beyond the main rectangLe. The deco-

wouLd

temperatures. She worked in atl three types

ration on the top resembles bones and

favorite work was atways the one she had just

but believed that porcelain was the most

[eaves, and is simiLar to decorations

ir

Her

finished. However, one of her best-Loved

Eastern temp[es. Amos has an extensive col-

works is the jug that bears the inscription

lection of Asian arl, and here she shows its

stating the relation of clay and fire to

porcelain, and so make more decisions about

influence upon her work. She does not, how-

(Checktist No. 34.) This jug speaks for the

the final appearance of the work. The preva-

evei .relinquish her own style: the roughness

entire medium and, most eLoquently, of

difficutt to controL. Amos preferred to use stoneware: she couLd controL

Lence

it

'

.

better than

of stoneware in this exhibition attests

to her love for the medium.

She does not

have a favorite gLaze, though she enjoyed working with iron. She says that she tried to

"fit the glaze to the pot." The fish with its watery

bLue gtaze,

carefuI p[anning.

pLate,

illustrates her

of the work gives

it

an earthiness, and the

Amos's love

Life

of her art.

holes in iis.surface attest to the potter's skilt because they ie.em

to be natural formations.

fhe dihcing anthropomorphic forms painted on the ta[[...vase show Amos's

Irja J. Thurlow Museum Studies Program

Georgia Museum ofArt

interest in nature. The white dnimals create a stark contrast to the brown clay, simiLar to ALL quatotians are fron an interview of the artist by the author,0ctober 1996.

Note:


1945

Lantern,1969 14 1/2 jnches high Vase,1953

Low bowt,

Sto newa re

Stonewa re

1969

36.

10 1/2 inches high

5 3/4 inches djameter Vase,

5to neware

Sto

18 1/2 inches high

8 inches diameter

Low bowl, 1964

Bowt,

5to

Ea

ewa re

n

37.

6 1/2 inches hjgh

:1951

38.

rthenwa re

Tatl bowt,1946

Earthe nwa re

6 inches diameter

Stoneware wjth satt 6 1/2 inches high

Talt bowt, 1968

Vase,1967

Stonewa re

Sto newa re

10 inches high Coltection of MjchaeL and Mary Erlanger

glaze

39.

hjgh

13 1/2 inches

Vase, n.d. 5to fewa re

Tat[ vase. 1969

5 1/4 inches long

11 1/2 lnches high

Vase,1965

Box for ftowers, 1963

Stoneware

S

6 inches diameter

7'r.res lorg

40.

5 1/4 inches hjgh

to newa re

Vase,:1957 5to newa re

6 1/4 jnches djameter

4 1/2 inches high

Ptate,1961

Vase,196B

Stoneware

5to newa re

9 1/4 jnches diameter

4 1/2 inches hiqh

Low bowt,1966

Vase,1945

Stoneware

Sto

5 1/4 jnches long

4 inches high

Tatl bowt, 1963 Stoneware

Fjsh p[ate with sitver jntay, 1946 Earthenware with atkatine btue giaze

fewa re

6 1/4 inches high

25 1/2 inches diameter

Vase,1963

BowI

Stonewa re

Po

4 1/4 inches long

6 inches diameter

with silver feathers,

1946

rcetai n

Low bowl, 1964

Lantern,1968

Sto newa re

Stoneware

4 inches diameter

14 jnches high

Vase,1970

Vase,1968

5to

Sto newa re

5 1/2 jnches djameter

9 1/4 inches high

Jug with tid,1965

Vase,1969

Stoneware

Sto newa re

5 1/4 inches djameter

8 3/4 inches high

Vase,1968

Vase,1969

4 1/4 inches

Vase,1967 Sto newa re

Sto n ewa re

Sto neware

Large bowt,1961 Earthenware

12 1/2 jnches diameter Coltection of C. L. Morehead Jr.

6 3/4 inches high

ewa re

Spindleshanks, 1969 Sto newa re

Low bowt,1953

n

Vase,1970 Sto neware

ewa re

12 inches diameter

26

Low bowt,1968

5 1/2 inches high

1968

4 3/4 inches diameter

Low bowt,1963 Stoneware

Vase,1945 Porcelajn wjth copper-red glaze 3 3/4 inches hjgh Sto newa re

Vase,1968

n

35.

Vase, Stoneware with satt glaze 3 3/4 inches high

5to newa re

Sto newa re Long

12 3/4 inches hjgh

.h.ve: (hP.klirt Ntnlhat

t1


Performi.ng

and Visuol

Arts

Comp Lex

This exhibition benefits from the generous support of the Richard Florsheim

Art Fund and from the contributions of Director's

members Jack and Jeffie Rowland. PartiaI support for the

tions and programs for the Georgia

Museum

A.

Circle

exhibi-

t,

of Art is provid-

ed by the Georgia CounciI for tl-e Arts through approprial

tions of the Georgia General Assembly and the NationaL

i

i

i

i

Endowment for

the Arts. A portion of the

museum's

generaI operating support for this year has been

pro-

:

vided through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency

that offers general oper-

ating support to the nation's museums. Individuals,

foundations, and corporations provide additiona[ \ support through their gifts

to the

University of

Georgia Foundation. The Georgio Museum of Art's hours ore 10 0,m.

to 5

p.n. \

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdoy, ond"soturday;10 0.m.

to

g

p,m. on Friday; ond 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

ohove: CheckList Number 30 . above right: Checklist Number 2'i\-.


Of Clay and Fire: The Pottery of Eulala Amos