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subject: leach comment @ black mountain college in 1952 was re: what is

updated mon 4 feb 02


Bonnie Staffel on sun 3 feb 02

I can't respond specifically about the Black Mountain incident, but Bernard
Leach also gave a speech to pottery students at the Toledo Museum of Art
when he was touring the country back around 1949 telling us we had no
culture here in the US. I do not recall any interruptions to his speech,
but I'll bet every one who attended remembers that he said it.

I had the opportunity to meet Janet Leach around 1988 when I visited St.
Ives. It was my wish to see the "great" pottery. Janet came down from her
apartment and we talked for about a half hour. She told me that when she
sat at the kick wheel to work, all signs of her arthritis left her. One of
the other comments she made was that she thought Bernard was a pompous ass.
So there you are. One cannot negate his contributions to the ceramic arts
of Great Britain and the US, as in those days, his book was the potters'
bible. No other publication was readily available to those studying outside
the University environs. I am grateful for his teachings.

Bonnie Staffel, of Charlevoix Michigan.