If you’ve been following us on social media, you probably already know that we are knee-deep in redesigning several exhibit spaces throughout the museum campus, including a formerly closed-off room in the Moore House. The Moore House is a dog-trot style cabin, with two rooms separated by a hallway—all under one roof. One room features Appalachian folk art and toys, and has been open for several years. The other side housed pottery, glassware, baskets, and various other artifacts, on dark, thick shelves. The bowing ceiling made the room feel dark and small. With support from our NEH Challenge Grant, we were able to completely redesign this space. It took months to catalog, rehouse, and move the artifacts, then several more months to remove the ceiling, add electricity, and clean up the space. We searched through hundreds of photographs to find the perfect images for enlargements, and did hours of research to create interpretive rail panels. We are thrilled that this exhibit is now open for the general public to view!
The exhibit is a brief introduction to folk pottery and basketry in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, focusing on works from North Georgia pottery families, Cherokee artists, and a Catawba potter. The exhibit covers the origins of pottery in this region—dating back thousands of years to hand-built pots by the Cherokee—all the way to the present, more artistic form of pottery. Pottery and baskets illustrate the sharing of skills and traditions between settlers and Native Americans. Both groups frequently borrowed materials and ideas from each other, leading to the development of new forms and styles.
When visiting this exhibit, you can expect to see:
- Folk pottery created by the well-known Meaders family from White County, Georgia
- Hand-coiled pots created by Cherokee artist Amanda Swimmer and Catawba artist Nola Campbell
- Dyed rivercane basket woven by Lottie Stamper
- Cotton hamper created by Beulah Perry
- White oak and willow baskets by Arie Carpenter
- Over 10 historic photographs of potters and basket makers demonstrating their crafts
~Kami Ahrens, Assistant Curator