The Fine Arts Foundation of Scripps College listened to Williamson Gallery director Mary McNaughton give an erudite and interesting (a lecture can be both, as rare as that sounds) on "Clay's Tectonic Shift." Professor McNaughton, an art history professor at Scripps, described how ceramics went from a craft to a major art form during the 1950s and 60s under the guidance of Southern California artists John Mason, Ken Price, and Peter Voulkos. Scripps College, an acknowledged leader in promoting ceramics since the 1930s under the dynamic direction of Millard Sheets, was part of this revolution. The lecture was given on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 in the Hampton Room of Malott Commons on the Scripps Campus. The exhibition opens at Williamson Gallery on January 21, 2012 with an Opening on Saturday evening at 7 PM. The exhibition is part of the Pacific Standard Time initiative sponsored by the Getty Trust.
In short, ceramics evolved from pottery towards sculpture, from the beautifully designed utility of practical ceramic pottery to large and increasingly abstract sculptures comprised of fired pieces of clay fitted into large objects.