Foundation gives boost to Peeler book

Thursday, September 24, 2009
Standing in front of the Peeler Pottery exhibit, Putnam County Museum Director Anne Lovold accepts a $1,000 grant from the Putnam County Community Foundation to publish a Peeler Pottery book. Presenting the check is community foundation executive director Elaine Peck and community foundation director of community development Eric Wolfe.

GREENCASTLE -- The Putnam County Community Foundation recently presented a $1,000 grant to the Putnam County Museum to help with efforts to publish a book about Peeler Pottery.

The grant will be pooled with gifts from other donors to cover the full cost of publishing the coffee table-quality book on local artists Richard and Marj Peeler and their pottery.

Richard Peeler has had a positive influence on thousands of people who during his lifetime learned to work with clay.

He taught in high school and college as well as producing some of the most widely used ceramic instruction tapes in the world.

In 1972, Peeler retired from teaching at DePauw University (where he also earned his AB degree in art in 1949) and started working full time producing both utilitarian pottery and sculpture from clay.

He began operating Peeler Pottery in Reelsville with his wife Marj who is also a ceramics artist.

In addition, Peeler made lathe-turned wooden vessels as well as metal and hand-carved wooden sculpture.

Elected president of the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts in 1970, Peeler had previously served the group as a board member, director-at-large, vice president and president-elect. He had also been director of the Indiana Artists-Craftsmen and the Indiana Potters Guild.

He passed away in December 1998.

The Putnam County Museum has a permanent exhibit of Peeler Pottery.

"We thank the community foundation and its donors for their support in making this book a reality," said Anne Lovold, Museum Director. "We hope others will also consider supporting it."

To date, more than $5.7 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded through the Community Foundation to enrich the quality of life and strengthen community for this and future generations.

The Putnam County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1985 to administer endowments, award grants and provide leadership, enriching the quality of life and strengthening community in Putnam County.

They can be contacted at 653-4978 or online at

The Putnam County Museum is located at 1105 N. Jackson St., Greencastle. Contact them at 653-8419 or online at

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  • The Peeler's are not from Putman County. They moved here when Mr. Peeler got a job at the University. This is supposed to be the history of Putnam County and while the Peelers are a recent part of the history it's sad to think that they are all this county's history is about.

    -- Posted by Hazel on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 6:47 AM
  • Let's not forget about, or minimize the artistic contributions of Marj Peeler in this partnership. Although it would be accurate to report that Mr. Peeler was the teacher and professor, it is more accurate to state that both Peelers founded Peeler Pottery and that they worked side by side in this effort over the years. Mrs. Peeler continues to be active as an artist and a member of the Greencastle community.

    -- Posted by sneakers on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 9:23 PM
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