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Museum pottery exhibit celebrates ties to Putnam County artists

Thursday, October 28, 2010

(Photo)
Some of the pottery from Richard Burkett's collection sit on display at the Putnam County Museum. Burkett, a Putnam County native, is currently a professor of art at San Diego State University. Banner Graphic/JOSH GARVEY
GREENCASTLE -- A new pottery exhibit that features the work of Richard Burkett, a potter who is originally from Putnam County, opened at the Putnam County Museum Wednesday.

"Richard, I think, was born in Putnam County," Warren Macy, who assembled the display, said. "He graduated from Greencastle High School, I think, in 1969."

Burkett attended Lawrence University in Wisconsin where he earned a degree in art. After that, he returned to Putnam County.

"In 1973, he graduated and opened the Wild Rose Pottery in northern Putnam County," Macy said. "He operated that as a full-time potter for 10 years."

Burkett then attended Indiana University where he received a dual master's degree in ceramics and photography. He is currently a professor of art at San Diego State University.

Some of Burkett's work was previously on display at the museum as a part of another pottery display. With the addition of Burkett's work, there are now three pottery displays near each other in the museum.

"Everything here is by people with Putnam County ties," Macy said. "They were born in Putnam County or they work in Putnam County."

Two of the potters with work on display share a connection beyond the museum.

"[Burkett]'s first pottery job was in 1970 throwing ashtrays for Richard Peeler at Peeler Pottery," Macy said. "I guess he got a taste for it and thought it was a good thing to do."

The museum also has a display of Peeler's work close to his former student's display.

Members of Burkett's family, including his mother Lucile Burkett, donated both the case and some of the pottery that filled it.

"When the case came, I went over to her home, which is basically another museum, and she said 'pick out anything you want,'" said Macy, referring to Lucile Burkett's donations to the museum.

Macy said he hopes this exhibit draws in people who are interested in pottery.

"This could make the museum a destination for pottery people," Macy said. "We may put our interns on this job of advertising that a little bit more and see if we can draw visitors based on our wonderful pottery."


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"Richard, I think, was born in Putnam County," Warren Macy, who assembled the display, said. "He graduated from Greencastle High School, I think, in 1969."

You would think that the person putting the exhibit together would not "think" he knows things about the featured artist. He should just "know" the background on the featured artist.

-- Posted by anonymous101 on Thu, Oct 28, 2010, at 1:23 AM

It's about time someone from Putnam County was recognized by the museum other that move-ins from the university.

-- Posted by Hazel on Thu, Oct 28, 2010, at 6:39 AM

You must have missed the Pearl Bryan display last year. She was definitely from Putnam County, although she returned only reluctantly, leaving a large part of herself in Kentucky.

-- Posted by Balding Eagle on Thu, Oct 28, 2010, at 7:35 AM


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