Museum Publication: Catalogue, 'Norton Stoneware & American Redware'
Norton Stoneware and American Redware: The Bennington Museum Collection by Catherine Zusy (Including a Directory of Proprietors and Employees of the Norton Pottery compiled by Research Assistant Judith Ziller)
This publication is the first in a series of catalogues planned to highlight the major collections of The Bennington Museum and focuses on the exceptional redware and stoneware for which the Museum is so noted.
Thanks to the hard work and diligence of Catherine Zusy, Curator of Decorative Arts from 1988-1991, new information has been brought to light not only about the specific pieces chosen for discussion and illustration here, but also about the potteries in which they were made and the individuals who shaped, decorated and defined their use. It is a catalogue which presents the Museum's collection of stoneware against the background of the famous Norton Pottery for which Bennington was well known. The redware collection is also addressed, with particular attention given to the complex questions surrounding origin and maker.
As with any such study, issues of cultural development, population density and stylistic influences become important considerations. Surface decoration, color, design, size and intended use also lead to interesting speculation and/or conclusions. similarly, the identification of regional characteristics, form and transfer of pattern all help to locate this pottery geographically and lend dimension to its examination. Therefore, this catalogue is also an attempt to place the Museum's stoneware and redware collections within the broader context of what was taking place in major pottery centers in the northeast during the latter part of the 19th century.