Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art in BiloxiMonday, August 07, 2006
Last week, I took these pictures of the Ohr O'Keefe Museum in Biloxi. It was under construction when the hurricane struck, but they're proceeding and doing programming - including summer camp for kids.
The architect on the museum is Frank Gehry (I love the design he did for the Disney Hall, and the Stata Center, especially) so you know it's going to turn out interesting and wonderful!
I'm really looking forward to the museum being completed and opening, because Ohr's pottery is just so magnificent. He lived from 1857 to 1918, was involved with Newcomb College pottery for a while, and was a real character - he called himself the "mad potter of Biloxi" and was a huge self-promoter. A crazy handlebar mustache, too!
This is a pic from the Library of Congress, showing him in his studio:
Today, a piece of Ohr pottery runs in the tens of thousands of dollars. I saw one piece on Antiques Roadshow (they have a pic of his work here), and they said that although there were once 10,000 pieces of his that were purchased, less than 500 are probably "still out there." They're so neat, too - thin-walled, pinched pieces that are really abstract. Beautiful.
I bought "The Mad Potter of Biloxi: The Art and Life of George E. Ohr" and just last month, "George Ohr, Art Potter: The Apostle of Individuality" was published. I haven't gotten it yet, but I'm thinking about it!
Right now, the collection of George Ohr pottery from Biloxi is being exhibited at the Mobile Museum of Art, with Shearwater Pottery (their building was heavily, heavily damaged too). The Mobile Museum site says that the Ohr/Shearwater exhibit is showing until September 30 - and the Nall exhibit I really want to see is there until September 24th - so I'm going to get back there soon!