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Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

Waylande Gregory: Art Deco Ceramics and the Atomic Impulse

Click here to view the online exhibition


Waylande Gregory (1905-1971), a native of Baxter Springs, Kansas,
was one of the most innovative and prolific Art Deco ceramic
sculptors of the twentieth century. His groundbreaking techniques
enabled him to create monumental ceramic works, including his
Fountain of the Atom for the 1939 New York World’s Fair—a tribute to
atomic energy that earned the attention of Albert Einstein.

As a young man, Gregory designed architectural ornament for the
Missouri Theatre in Saint Joseph and the famous Aztec Room in the
Hotel President in Kansas City, Missouri. His early development as
a sculptor was shaped by study with prominent Beaux Arts figure
Lorado Taft in Chicago. Soon after, Gregory became lead designer
at Cowan Pottery in Ohio, known for its limited-edition table-top
sculptures. He was a professor at the Cranbrook Academy of Art
in Michigan before settling in New Jersey in an Art Deco home he
designed.

During the Great Depression, the artist produced ceramic sculpture
and tile murals for the Works Progress Administration, including the
depiction of a pony express rider for the Columbus, Kansas, post
office. Gregory served as New Jersey’s director of WPA sculptural
programs. During the 1940s and 1950s, he designed production
service which sold at retail stores such as Bonwit Teller’s and Neiman
Marcus.

This virtual retrospective expands on an exhibition organized by the
Alfred Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University in New York State.
The exhibition features 3-D views of art, film footage, and interviews
with curators. The exhibition is co-curated by independent scholar
Tom Folk and Beach Museum of Art Curator Elizabeth Seaton.

Related virtual events
Click here for more details and links to join events 

Livestream lecture by Tom Folk, co-curator,
“Waylande Gregory: Art Deco Ceramics and the Atomic Impulse”
Thursday, October 8, 5:30 p.m.

Virtual tour of exhibition by Curator Liz Seaton
Part of Art in Motion Expo
Saturday, October 17, 1 p.m.

“Innovations in Clay: Waylande Gregory”
Livestream talk by Nick Geankoplis, K-State assistant professor of art
Part of Art in Motion Expo 
Saturday, October 17, 2 p.m.

“Waylande Gregory and the New York World’s Fair”
Livestream lecture by Robert W. Rydell, professor of American Studies, Montana State University
Thursday, November 12, 5:30 p.m.

“Waylande Gregory and Cowan Pottery Studio”
Livestream lecture by Greg Hatch, curator/historian, Cowan Pottery Museum
Thursday, February 18, 2021, 5:30 p.m.