Last spring, 1072 Society co-chairs Guin Robinson and Tim Parker gifted the museum two exquisite 19th-century ceramic vessels originating from Randolph County, Alabama—their generous contribution to our permanent collection forming the cornerstone for this year’s collecting focus on historical Alabama pottery and our 1072 Society exhibition.
Vessels and Their Voices: the Legacy of Alabama Pottery showcases a variety of late 19th- and early 20th-century Southern pottery—jars, milk jugs, cream risers and butter churns crafted by artisans in nearby Randolph and Chambers counties. In their time, these utilitarian pieces stored all manner of food, liquids and dry goods; today they hold a wealth of historical information on the customs, practices and technologies of our agricultural past.
A welcome addition to the museum’s already diverse collection of ceramics, these works produced by East Alabama’s early settlers, along with three remarkable vases created in the Muscle Shoals area, reveal the compelling aesthetic qualities latent in humble clay. They echo across time, place and people, offering opportunities to “listen” to generations of stories embodied within their elegant forms.