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Betty Woodman

One of the foremost female ceramic artists, Betty Woodman uses clay and the utilitarian object as a canvas to reference majolica and Sèvres porcelain, Italian Baroque painting, and ancient Greek and Etruscan sculpture. Emphasizing surface over function, her loose approach in making handmade objects intersects painting and sculpture. Her experience with ceramics began with production pottery in the 1950’s, and her experimentation with the vessel, as well as her painterly sensibility and exploration of color, has been influential in contemporary ceramics.


Related artists in KMAC's collection:

Wendell Castle, Ken Price


Click to view an archival list of all artists in the collection.


Recurring themes:

Domestic Life, Material Culture


KMAC exhibitions:

Permanent Collection: Recent Acquisitions


Reference material:

Clark, Garth, and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Ceramic Millennium: Critical Writings on Ceramic History, Theory and Art. Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 2006.


Del Vecchio, Mark. Postmodern Ceramics. New York: Thames & Hud, 2001.


Douglas, Diane and Vicki Halper, ed. Choosing Craft: The Artist’s Viewpoint. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2009.


Held, Peter, Heather Sealy Lineberry, and Arizona State University. Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft. Santa Barbara: Perpetua Press, 2013.


Koplos, Janet, et al. Betty Woodman. New York: Monacelli Press, 2006.


Lynn, Martha Drexler. American Studio Ceramics: Innovation and Identity, 1940 to 1979. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.


Sirlin, Deanna. She's Got What It Takes: American Women Artists in Dialogue. Milano: Charta, 2013.




Tang Ceramic Pillow Pitcher

Tang Ceramic Pillow Pitcher

Clay and glaze. Courtesy of Mary and Rev. Al Shands.



Clay and glaze. Courtesy of Mary and Rev. Al Shands.

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