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Susan Peterson

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Susan Peterson

American, (1925–2009)

Few studio potters can claim the influence that Susan Peterson had on the field of postwar American ceramics. She received her BA degree from Mills College in 1946 while working with F. Carlton Ball; she got her MFA from Alfred University in 1950. She taught at the Chouinard Art Institute, and later the University of Southern California, where she remained for twenty-three years. Beyond teaching, Peterson’s legacy lies in her efforts to disseminate the ceramics tradition to the general public, as well as to document its history. She was the host of the influential educational television program Wheels, Kilns, and Clay, first broadcast in 1964. Peterson understood how Japanese and Native American ceramics shaped the development of the art in the United States and wrote several key texts on the subject, including Shōji Hamada: A Potter’s Way and Work (1974), The Living Tradition of María Martinez (1977), and Lucy M. Lewis: American Indian Potter (1984).

Artist Objects

Bottle 1999.95

Platter 1999.93

Vessel 1999.94

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