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Women, Art & Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise

Thu Feb 05 to May 18, 2015 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Women, Art & Social Change tells the inspirational story of a group of women in the Deep South who achieved economic independence through making and selling pottery, and by establishing Newcomb Pottery, one of the most iconic arts and crafts brands of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Set against a backdrop of social change and women’s rights, the Smithsonian exhibition features the largest, most comprehensive collection of Newcomb Pottery to tour North America in three decades, with more than 125 objects of the iconic pottery on display, along with lesser known textiles, metalwork, jewellery, bookbinding and historical artifacts.

Women, Art, & Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise is organized by the Newcomb Art Gallery of Tulane University and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Exhibition Programs & Events

Wednesday February 11, 6:30 to 8 pm
The Next 36 Debate
Moderator: Claudia Hepburn, Executive Director and Co-Founder, The Next 36

Wednesday March 11, 6:30 to 8 pm
Justice for Women & Girls with Disabilities
Speaker: Shantha Rau Barriga, Director of Disability Rights, Human Rights Watch

Thursday April 16, 6:30 – 8 pm
The Arts & Crafts of Newcomb Pottery
Speaker: Martin Eidelberg, Professor Emeritus of Art History, Rutgers University


The Gardiner Museum is grateful to Exhibition Supporters VERITY, Susan Crocker, Laura Dinner, Senator Nicole Eaton, Lorna Marsden, Lynda Palazzi, Lynda Reeves, Senator Nancy Ruth, Karen Sheriff, and Deborah White. These women brought this exhibition to Toronto and continue the story of the Newcomb Pottery Enterprise through their own careers.

Exhibition Partners include CAMH, Far & Wide Collective, House & Home, Human Rights Watch, The Linden School, The Next 36, and The Women’s Canadian Club of Toronto. Farrow & Ball is the Official Paint Sponsor, and The Globe and Mail is the 2015 Media Partner.

Representing 45 years of achievement in decorative arts from 1895 to 1940, the exhibit is supported by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, which were matched by supporters of Newcomb Art Gallery.

About the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES)

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for nearly 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at sites.si.edu.