Highlights of the 2016 Symposium included presentations on the following topics which added to our knowledge of the inspiration for Cowan design themes and the activities of Cowan artists after the 1931 closure:
- “Russell Barnett Aitken Archive”. Stephen Harrison and Leslie Cade, both of Cleveland Museum of Art, reviewed the nature and content of the recently acquired personal archives of this prolific Cowan artist, sculptor, painter, author, big game hunter, sportsman and philanthropist. The archive is currently being catalogued and accessioned into the CMA permanent and archival collections.
- “A Cowan Legacy: The Pottery Workshop and its Artists”. CPMA Member and Researcher Sue Maynard presented her work which explores the history and output of this Cleveland-based cooperative which was founded and operated by several former Cowan artists including Russell Aitken and Whitney Atchley.
- “Creative Spirit: the 1928 International Exhibition of Ceramic Art”. Lauren Hansgen, Cowan Museum Curator, reviewed the nature and content of the national touring exhibit which included Cleveland Museum of Art on its itinerary. The exhibit would have been seen by and of potential influence upon many of the artists contributing to the Cowan pottery design portfolio.
The Symposium was also an opportunity for its Cowan enthusiast attendees to show and discuss Cowan and related items from their own collections. As usual, the presentation of current work by a recipient of this year’s R. Guy Cowan Scholarship in Ceramics at Cleveland Institute of Art was enthusiastically received.