Mission Statement and Goals:
The Wisconsin Pottery Association (WPA) is organized as a Nonstock Corporation under Wisconsin Statutes and is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization under federal regulations. Its mission generally is to promote knowledge and appreciation of art pottery among its members and the general public. This is accomplished through regularly scheduled meetings and informal presentations which are open to the public, and by establishing networks with individual collectors and other collector associations throughout the state and nation. Included in this mission are efforts to work with state and local museums in preserving the history and heritage of Wisconsin potteries through promotion of periodic exhibits as well as permanent displays of their products. To further this goal, the WPA has become an affiliate member of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Ongoing efforts are planned to hold such exhibits as may be deemed desirable and to publish articles and other materials which may further the general mission.
Regular Monthly Meetings:
Meetings and presentations are held on the second Tuesday of each month at the Goodman Community Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Since 1994, guest speakers have presented a wide range of pottery related topics to the membership and guests. Presenters are solicited from a variety of sources including referrals from other collector associations, individual members’ connections to the field of collector authoring and publishing, and word-of-mouth resources in the pottery collecting and appreciation world. The WPA’s Program Development Committee is responsible for, among other tasks, the recruitment of guest speakers for this monthly speaker series.
The WPA sponsors educational events, exchanges, and exhibitions on a periodic basis to educate members and the general public. In 1996, the WPA collaborated with the Ceramic Arts Studio Collectors Association in presenting an Exhibition of works produced by the Ceramic Arts Studio, a noted local pottery enterprise which ceased operations in the 1950’s. In 1997, the major Exhibit focused on such potteries as Norse, Pauline, Edgerton Art Clay Works, Pittsville, Frackleton, and Century House. All of these potteries were native to Wisconsin and all have long since ceased operation. Haeger Pottery was the focus for the 1998 Exhibit and for 1999, the WPA had an extensive Exhibit of Roseville Pottery wares.
In August, 1998, the WPA, in conjunction with the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, arranged for the placement of a State Historical Marker on the original site of the Ceramic Arts Studio in Madison to commemorate the work of former employees including Betty Harrington, the Studio’s chief designer. In June, 1998, the WPA sponsored an art pottery exhibit at the Cambridge Elementary School, currently under renovation as a cultural and civic activities center. In December, 1998, an Internet Website was launched: www.wisconsinpottery.org
Recently undertaken is an informal collaboration with the Edgerton, Wisconsin historical volunteer group. Efforts are planned in preserving buildings and artifacts dating back to the time when the Pauline Pottery was active in the area. The WPA has endorsed these activities and is participating in them on an ongoing basis.