Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art

The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art in located on Alfred university’s Campus and is a large part of New York State College. The Museum houses both ceramic and glass, objects range from ancient recovered artifacts to contemporary ceramic art pieces. The collection holds about 8,000 pieces in total. The schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art considers it’s to be a teaching and research facility for faculty, students and visitors of the area.

Some history on how the museum got it’s name and how it was establish, we begin in the 1900 when Charles Fergus Binns was the founding director of the New York state school of ceramics. “Binns was a teacher and taught pottery, glaze and clay making and ceramic history. How this all became a museum was a group of his students and various other ceramic faculty members wanted a space to show the work that could be looked at and discussed and for simple delight in looking at these pieces of art work by all at the college. The collecting of the different ceramic and glass artifacts almost started as soon as the first piece was up for display. Quickly the museum became an scholarly institution for Alfred University and clearly for New York School Of Ceramic Arts. In 1991 Alfred established the collection as a museum, with a focus on American Ceramic art but also has an eye for worldwide ceramics and their history, and origin or creativity all throughout history of man’s art making. How the Schein-Joseph got it’s name,” in 1999 the Alfred university board of trustees voted to re-name the Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art in honor of Trustee Pamela Joseph and be resently passed husband Jay Schein. Pamela also in 1994 donated $2 million to support the ceramic museum.”

The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art has housed artist how have gone to alfred along with others who are well known ceramic artists that are not in anyway associated in any way with the College of Ceramic art. The large collection of work includes such well known ceramic artists as; “ Rosanjin, Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, and Lucie Rie ,Charles F. Binns, Anne Currier, Val Cushing, Ruth Duckworth, Ken Ferguson, Andrea and John Gill, Vivika and Otto Heino, Wayne Higby, Karen Karnes, Howard Kottler, Harrison MacIntosh, Theodore Randall, Daniel Rhodes, Mary Roettger, David Shaner, Ellen Shankin, Robert Turner, Peter Voulkos, Beatrice Wood, Betty Woodman, and Eva Zeisel” . Other parts of the collection include,”Lucie Rie as well as Chinese funerary jars and tomb sculpture from the Neolithic Period, Roman and Byzantine lamps, Nigerian market pottery, European dinnerware, and products of American whiteware companies. Also represented are advanced ceramics, including a femoral hip joint replacement and a ceramic (zirconia) watch.”

Today The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art does not have as much as a home as it has in the past years. The museum used to have a gallery space where students, faculty,and visitors could view visiting shows or a rotation of permeant collections. Graduate shows were also held within the gallery space as well as other senior bachelor of fine art’s degree senior shows. However because of a new construction of a section of the School of Engineering, The Schein-Joseph was moved and for now has no show room and to view the collection us must set up an appointment with the head of the department.

Alfred University plans to build a new building in the location of the present Davis Gymnasium and have a new building designed by Kallmann McKinnell and Wood Architects. The building to meant to have enough space for amply storage for the present collection and also is large in that in predicts new ceramic and glass pieces to come in. There is also plans to be a large show room for The Schein-Joseph’s collection as well as space for visiting shows or Graduate shows. The plans for this building claim that it was to be built by 2010, which clearly is not close to happening considering that Davis Gymnasium is still being used and is needed because other workout facilities are overly crowded.

Here is a description of what the new The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art is to look like: “...the building is a simple, linear gallery space presenting itself to the approach along Main Street in Alfred, intended to exhibit openness, both day and night. An entry ramp extends the entry sequence, allowing for a single point of access control, while emphasizing the linear organization and providing sufficient height for the collection storage/exhibit preparation which forms the base of the building. As sited and oriented, the building can be expanded by adding a parallel bar, which could be either a second flexible gallery, or a series of small galleries dedicated to donated collections. Collection storage would expand in the same proportion below. The building will have a very simple palette of materials – brick, glass, and translucent glass on the exterior, concrete, plaster and glass on the interior, with minor elements in natural wood and metal.” If this ever does get finished I think we can agree that is will clearly be a beautiful addition to Alfred University’s campus.

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