Learning from the Masters: The Teaching Legacy of Ed and Mary Scheier

September 5 - December 19, 2003
Dale Valena, Museum Curator

The Scheiers making pottery

The 1930s, a decade of equal parts despair and hope, inspired innovations like the League of New Hampshire Arts and Crafts, incorporated in 1932 to help build small NH craft industries and boost the local economies. That same year the League created a pottery program at UNH that was staffed by amateur teachers over the first several years. By 1940 David Campbell, president of the League of New Hampshire Arts and Crafts (now known as the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen), saw a need for a professional artist to elevate the program to a higher level. He attended a pottery conference in Black Mountain, NC and met a young couple named Ed and Mary Scheier. Campbell liked their work and within a year of their meeting offered them jobs at UNH, Ed as instructor and Mary as artist-in-residence.

The Scheiers worked at UNH from 1940 to 1960, during which time they constantly won awards in American and international competitions. They taught and inspired hundreds of students. Professional artists and potters - including those too young to have them as teachers - claim inspiration from the Scheiers' work. This exhibition explored their legacy as teachers and mentors.

Two students make potteryWoman in a dress holds a wooden toolMary Scheier turns a clay potEd Scheier looks upon his work