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Gradual Contemporary: Glenn Adamson

  • Metcalf Auditorium, RISD Museum 20 North Main Street Providence, RI, 02903 United States (map)


It’s one of the oldest stereotypes about art: the flash of insight, the “Eureka” moment, when everything comes together for an artist and the work leaps into new territory. What actually happens in these moments? And what had to happen first, before they arrive? In this talk, Glenn Adamson will journey into the studio and the life of artists, to explore the nature of creative revelation. He will concentrate particularly on two figures from his current and recent research: the ceramic sculptor Peter Voulkos and the fiber artist Lenore Tawney. Though working on opposite coasts and in different media, they had simultaneous breakthroughs in the late 1950s which reshaped not only their own careers but their entire disciplines. Through close examination of these two case studies, Adamson will offer a model of what goes into such decisive imaginative leaps.

Glenn Adamson is a curator and historian based in Brooklyn and the author of The Craft ReaderThinking Through Craft, and The Invention of Craft.

This event is co-sponsored by the Ceramics Department.