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Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina

Triliteral

9781588397263

Nineteenth-century stoneware by enslaved and free potters living in Edgefield, South Carolina, highlights the central role of Black artists in the region’s long-standing pottery traditions.

Recentering the development of industrially scaled Southern pottery traditions around enslaved and free Black potters working in the mid-nineteenth century, this catalogue presents groundbreaking scholarship and new perspectives on stoneware made in and around Edgefield, South Carolina. Among the remarkable works included are a selection of regional face vessels as well as masterpieces by enslaved potter and poet David Drake, who signed, dated, and incised verses on many of his jars, even though literacy among enslaved people was criminalized at the time.

Essays on the production, collection, dispersal, and reception of stoneware from Edgefield offer a critical look at what it means to collect, exhibit, and interpret objects made by enslaved artisans. Several featured contemporary works inspired by or related to Edgefield stoneware attest to the cultural and historical significance of this body of work, and an interview with acclaimed contemporary artist Simone Leigh illuminates its continued relevance.




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