Greenberg, Jan and Sandra Jordan. 2013. The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius. New York: Roaring Brook.
This book, recognized as a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, one of 2013’s most distinguished informational books, is a photo-filled biography of George E. Ohr, a master of art pottery. A colorful character and far cry from the reticent or taciturn artist stereotype, Ohr was a self-proclaimed,
“rankey krankey solid individualist,” the “Greatest Art Potter on Earth,” and “born free and patriotic, blowing my own bugle.”
“Mr. Ohr is by no means a crank, but is a naturally bright, even brilliant man, who has been led into the belief that the way for him to attain publicity is through the channel of preposterous advertising, and the signs which he placed round Biloxi do him more harm than good.”
Still, he was confident in his own mastery of his craft, and future generations came to recognize that he was indeed brilliant. The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art was built in his honor, and houses a permanent exhibition of his work.
The Mad Potter is a narrative chronology and includes a history of the museum, instructions on how to create a clay pot, extensive Notes, Bibliography and Picture Credits, and my favorite – “How to Look at a Pot,” a useful interpretation of the language and method used in describing and evaluating pottery.
A fascinating glimpse into an artist’s life, the art of pottery, and the nature and mindset of the art-collecting world.
Today is the final day of this year’s KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month celebration. Please be sure to catch up on all of the wonderful posts!