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Apotheosis of the Toiler:

Robineau, Resilience and #CeramicCasualties

March 8, 2021    2PM EST via Zoom

Garth Johnson

Paul Phillips and Sharon Sullivan Curator of Ceramics, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York

As anyone who has ever worked with the material knows, clay is a harsh mistress.  Although the legendary ceramist Adelaide Alsop Robineau was almost preternaturally gifted as a potter, she experienced profound failure over the course of her career.  Her most legendary creation, Apotheosis of the Toiler (Scarab Vase), emerged from its bisque firing with significant cracks that were only mended through a combination of determination and luck.  Johnson will share rare close-up footage of the Scarab Vase, including an endoscopic examination of the vessel's interior, which reveals significant details about its creation.


Writer, curator, and educator Garth Johnson is the Paul Phillips and Sharon Sullivan Curator of Ceramics at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York.  Johnson is a self-described craft activist who explores craft's influence and relevance in the 21st century. His research interests range from 1960s and 70s artist-led movements in the field of ceramics to the intersection of clay, video, and performance.  His recent exhibitions at the Everson include Renegades & Reformers: American Art Pottery, Earth Piece: Conceptual and Performative Works in Clay and Key Figures: Representational Ceramics 1932-1972.  His writing has been published nationally and internationally, with recent contributions to the books Repositioning Paolo Soleri: The City is Nature and Victor Cicansky: The Gardener's Universe.

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