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Edwin and Mary Scheier Pottery Collection

Pottery, 1940-1992

38 pots, 5 plates

About Edwin and Mary Scheier

Edwin Scheier (b.1910) and Mary Goldsmith (b.1909), met at the Big Stone Gap Federal Art Gallery in Abingdon, Virginia, where Goldsmith was director. After their marriage in 1937, they became travelling puppeteers, designing and building their own puppets, and in 1938 the Scheiers worked with the Federal Art Project in Norris, Tennessee where they learned about ceramics, eventually setting up their own pottery shop in Glade Spring, Virginia.

In 1941, David Campbell, director of the League of New Hampshire Arts and Crafts, invited the Scheiers to the University of New Hampshire to teach ceramics. During their employment at UNH the Scheier’s visited Mexico several times and became interested in both the archaeological artifacts they saw and the weavings done by the Zapotec Indians, for whom Edwin began to create designs for weaving. After they retired from UNH in 1960, the Scheiers lived in Mexico for ten years before finally settling in Arizona.

From September 8th to October 24th, 1979, the UNH Scudder Art Gallery featured a retrospective show of the Scheiers’ works, including paintings, pottery and weavings. The Scheiers’ work has been exhibited in a number of American museums including the Currier Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the New York Museum of, The Museum of Modern Art, Worcester Art Museum, Walker Art Center, the University of Arizona Museum of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Addison Gallery. Works by Scheier have also appeared in The International Museum of Ceramics, Fenza, Italy; Royal Ontario Museum, Canada; Instituto Mexicano Norteamericano de Relaciones Culturales, Mexico City; and museums in Japan and Germany.

About the Scheier Pottery Collection

The collection contains 38 pots of various shapes and sizes and 5 large, flat blue plates. The pots were thrown and then decorated using sgraffito and applique techniques. Sgraffito is decoration produced by scratching through a surface layer of glazing revealing a different colored ground beneath. Applique refers to a design which is applied, in this case pellets of clay laid on to the pot’s sides to create eyes, nose, mouth, etc. The journey from birth through life is a favorite Scheier motif represented on their pots by stylized human figures holding smaller figures inside themselves.

This page presents a selection of images from the works on display in Milne Special Collections and on the Level 5 balcony of the UNH Library.

For more information about the Scheiers, see Michael K. Komanecky’s book, American Potters: Mary and Edwin Scheier and the documentary film Four Hands, One Heart by Ken Browne.

Note on Copyright for Scheier Art Work

Copyright for both Mary and Edwin Scheier’s art work is held by the Currier Museum of Art. Inquiries regarding reproductions and fees should be addressed to rights&repro@currier.org.

Pots

Pot Description Notes Location
3 Edwin O. Scheier, American (b. 1910)
Mary Scheier, American (b. 1909)

Vase with Abstract Design, 1963.
Stoneware with applique decoration.

Gift of Edwin and Mary Scheier

finish:glossy
color:mottled blues, greens, rust, and brown
signed: Scheier ’63
dimensions: 18″ x 27.5″
Milne Special Collections Reading Room
5 Edwin O. Scheier, American (b. 1910)
Mary Scheier, American (b. 1909)

Vase with Figure Design.
Stoneware with sgraffito and applique design.

Gift of Edwin and Mary Scheier

finish: matte
color: light blue on darkblue, engobe, one glaze is brushed on over another.
signed: Scheier 66
dimensions: 22.5″ x 40″
Level 5 Balcony
7 Edwin O. Scheier, American (b. 1910)
Mary Scheier, American (b. 1909)

Vase with Face and Figure Design, 1966.
stoneware

Gift of Edwin and Mary Scheier

finish:matte
color:light blue over dark blue (engobe), neck and base are bronze crater glaze
signed:
dimensions: 20″ x 29″
Milne Special Collections Reading Room
16 Edwin O. Scheier, American (b. 1910)
Mary Scheier, American (b. 1909)

Vase with Face Design, 1966.
Stoneware. Sides of pot are shaped into four faces.

Gift of Edwin and Mary Scheier

finish: matte where black,glossy where metal
color:black, grey, and bronze crater glaze
signed: Scheier 66
dimensions: 19″ x 28.5″
Milne Special Collections Reading Room
33 Edwin O. Scheier, American (b. 1910)
Mary Scheier, American (b. 1909)

Vase with female figure design
Stoneware

Gift of Edwin and Mary Scheier

finish:
color: purple
signed: Scheier ’92
dimensions: 14″ x 11.5″
Level 5 Balcony
35 Edwin O. Scheier, American (b. 1910)
Mary Scheier, American (b. 1909)

Vase with female figure design
Stoneware

Gift of Edwin and Mary Scheier

finish:
color: green
signed: Scheier ’92
dimensions: 13″ x 11″
Level 5 Balcony
36 Edwin O. Scheier, American (b. 1910)
Mary Scheier, American (b. 1909)

Vase with alternating female figures figure design
stoneware

Gift of Edwin and Mary Scheier

finish:
color:brown
signed: Scheier ’91
dimensions: 13.5″ x 11.5″
Level 5 Balcony
37 Edwin O. Scheier, American (b. 1910)
Mary Scheier, American (b. 1909)

Vase with male, female, and child figures design
stoneware

Gift of Edwin and Mary Scheier

finish:
color: purple & blue
signed: Scheier ’91
dimensions: 12.5″ x 11.5″
Level 5 Balcony
38 Edwin O. Scheier, American (b. 1910)
Mary Scheier, American (b. 1909)

Vase with male and female figure design and lid
stoneware

Gift of Edwin and Mary Scheier

finish:
color: purple
signed: Scheier ’92
dimensions: 16″ x 10.5″
Milne Special Collections Reading Room

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